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any order, either chronological or other, in writing this 

My purpose in writing has been to give an intelligible 
narrative of the work done in Burma in the years following 
the annexation. It was certainly arduous work done under 
great difficulties of all kinds, and, from the nature of the 
case, with less chance of recognition or distinction than of 
disease or death. The work was, I believe, well done, and 
has proved itself to be good. 

My narrative may not attract many who have no con- 
nection with Burma. But for those who served in Burma 
during the period covered by it, whether soldiers or civilians, 
it may have an interest, and especially for those still in the 
Burma Commission and their successors. 

I hope that Field-Marshal Sir George White, V.C., to 
whom, and to all the officers and men of the Burma Field 
Force, I owe so much, may find my pages not without 

I have endeavoured to show how the conduct of the 
soldiers of the Queen, British and Indian, helped the civil 
administration to establish peace. 

I believe, as I have said, that our work has been 
successful. The credit, let us remember, is due quite as 
much to India as to Britain. How long would it have 
taken to subjugate and pacify Burma if we had not been 
able to get the help of the fighting-men from India, and 
what would have been the cost in men and money ? For 
the Burmans themselves I, in common with all who have 
been associated with them, have a sincere affection. Many 
of them assisted us from the first, and from the Upper 
Burmans many loyal and capable gentlemen are now helping 
to govern their country justly and efficiently. 

It has been brought home to me in making this rough 


record how many of those who took part in this campaign 
against disorder have laid down their lives. I hope I may 
have helped to do honour to their memories. 

I have to thank all the kind friends who have sent me 
photographs to illustrate this book, and especially Sir Harvey 
Adamson, the present Lieutenant-Governor, for his kindness 
in making my wants known. 

C. H. C. 

February, 1912. 





III. UPPER BURMA . . . . . .30 

IV. MANDALAY . . . . . .37 



VII. A VISIT TO BHAMO . . . . .74 







XV. THE SHAN STATES ..... 133 

xvi. THE SHAN STATES (continued) .... 160 





XXI. THE CHINS ...... 287 


INDEX ....... 343 



PICKET ON THE CHIN HILLS' .... Frontispiece 





MANDALAY ....... 48 




MISSIONER ...... 90 

















CAMPAIGN) ...... 282 


HAKA BRAVES ..... 284 


HAKA CHINS ... . . 292 

A CHIN " ZU " DRINK ...... 292 






MAP OF CHIN HILLS, ETC. ..... 253 




ON the 20th of December, 1852, Lord Dalhousie issued a 
proclamation annexing the province of Pegu to the 
British Dominions. "The Governor- General in Council," 
he said, " having exacted the reparation he deems sufficient, 
desires no further conquest in Burma and is willing that 
hostilities should cease. 

" But if the King of Ava shall fail to renew his former 
relations with the British Government, and if he shall 
recklessly seek to dispute its quiet possession of the province 
it has now declared to be its own, the Governor-General in 
Council will again put forth the power he holds and will 
visit with full retribution aggressions, which, if they be 
persisted in, must of necessity lead to the total subversion of 
the Burman State and to the ruin and exile of the King and 
his race." 

In 1885 the fulfilment of this menace prophecy it might 
be called was brought about by the contumacy of the 
Government of Ava. The Burman State was " totally 
subverted." Its territories were added to the British 
Empire. The King and his race were " ruined and exiled." 

At the end of November, 1885, the British commander 
was in full possession of Mandalay, the capital. Our forces 
had made a procession up the great river, which is the main 
artery of the country, almost unopposed. Such opposition 
as there had been was childish in its feebleness and want of 
skill and purpose. Fortunately for us the King and his 

2 l 


:pri3eji i>he*nsejves on their voluntary army system. 
if ing Thebaw ' was k n6t going to compel his subjects to 
defend their country. They were told to go about their 
daily tasks without fear or carefulness. They might sleep 
in their beds. He would see to it that the foreign 
barbarians were driven into the sea whence they had 
come. Unfortunately the soldiers to whom he trusted were 
insufficiently trained, badly armed and equipped. He had 
intended, perhaps, to remedy all this and to train his troops 
for six months before the fighting began. 

His enemy, however, was unreasonably hasty and had an 
abundance of fast steamers for transporting* the invading 
force. Before the training could begin or the arms be 
provided or the officers instructed, the invaders were before 
Ava, where the bulk of the defending army had been collected, 
and a few miles from the capital. The King's government 
was as helpless as it had been arrogant and pretentious. 
Ministers of State were sent down in hot haste with 
messages of submission and surrender. 

The army, however, took a different view of the case. 
They refused to obey the order to surrender which had 
come from Mandalay. Before General Prendergast could 
land his men they dispersed over the country in every 
direction with their arms, and as the British force had no 
cavalry to pursue them, they got away to a man. At first 
under various leaders, few of whom showed any military 
talent, they waged a guerilla warfare against the invaders ; 
and afterwards, when their larger divisions had been de- 
feated and broken up, they succeeded in creating a state 
of anarchy and brigandage ruinous to the peasantry and 
infinitely harassing to the British. 

On the 29th of November Mandalay was occupied and the 
King a prisoner on his way down the river to Eangoon. 
The waterway from Mandalay to the sea was under our 
control. A few of the principal places on the banks of the 
river had been held by small garrisons as the expedition 
came up, and the ultimate subjugation of the Burman 
people was assured. The trouble, however, was to come. 

To a loosely organized nation like the Burmese, the occu- 
pation of the capital and the removal of the King meant 
nothing. They were still free to resist and fight. It was 


to be five years before the last of the large gangs was 
dispersed, the leaders captured, and peace and security 

Burma will be, in all likelihood, the last important 
province to be added to the Indian Empire. Eastward 
that Empire has been extended as far as our arms can 
well reach. Its boundaries march with Siam, with the 
French dominion of Tongking, and on the East and North 
for a vast distance with China. Our convention with 
France for the preservation of the territory which remains 
to Siam and our long friendship with the latter country 
bars any extension of our borders in that direction. It is 
improbable that we shall be driven to encroach on Chinese 
territory; and so far as the French possessions are con- 
cerned, a line has been drawn by agreement which neither 
side will wish to cross. 

In all likelihood, therefore, the experience gained in 
Burma will not be repeated in Asia. Nevertheless it may 
be worth while to put on record a connected account of 
the methods by which a country of wide extent, destitute 
of roads and covered with dense jungle and forest, in which 
the only rule had become the misrule of brigands and the 
only order systematic disorder, was transformed in a few 
years into a quiet and prosperous State. 

I cannot hope that the story will be of interest to many, 
but it may be of some interest and perhaps of use to those 
who worked with me and to their successors. 

From 1852 to 1878 King Mindon ruled Upper Burma 
fairly well. He had seized the throne from the hands of 
his brother Pagan Min, whose life he spared with more 
humanity than was usual on such occasions. He was, to 
quote from the Upper Burma Administration Report of 
1886, " an enlightened Prince who, while professing no 
love for the British, recognized the power of the British 
Government, was always careful to keep on friendly terms 
with them, and was anxious to introduce into his kingdom, 
as far as was compatible with the maintenance of his own 
autocratic power, Western ideas and Western civilization." 
He was tolerant in religious matters even for a Burmese 
Buddhist. He protected and even encouraged the Chris- 
tian missions in Upper Burma, and for Dr. Marks, the 


representative of the Society for the Propagation of the 
Gospel in Mandalay he built a handsome teak church 
and a good clergy-house, giving a tinge of contempt to 
his generosity by putting them down by the Burmese 
burial-ground. The contempt was not for the religion but 
for the foreign barbarians who professed it. 

His measures for encouraging trade and increasing and 
ordering the revenues were good, and the country prospered 
under him. In Burma there are no hereditary leaders of 
the people. There is no hereditary aristocracy outside the 
royal family, and their descendants rapidly merge into 
the people. There was no law or binding custom deter- 
mining the descent of the crown within the family. Every 
one with royal blood, however little, in his veins was a 
potential pretender. Whenever the crown demised the 
succession was settled by intrigue or violence, and possible 
aspirants were removed by the prince who had obtained 
the prize. There was no other way of securing its peaceful 

Under the King was the Hlutdaw, or great Council of 
State, composed of the Chief Ministers, who were appointed 
by the King from the courtiers who had the good fortune 
to be known to him or had helped him to the throne. To 
each of these was assigned a province of the empire, which 
he governed through a deputy. 

The immediate power was vested in the deputy, who 
resided in the province and remitted to the Minister as 
much as he could collect over and above the amount due to 
the crown and, it need hardly be said, necessary for his own 
needs. The provinces were divided into townships, which 
were ruled by officials appointed by the governors, no doubt 
with regard to local influence and claims, and with a general 
inclination to keep the office in a family. 

The really stable part of the administration on which 
everything rested was the village, the headship of which 
was by custom hereditary, but not necessarily in the 
direct line. 

As there was little central control, it may be supposed 
that under a system of this kind the people were pillaged, 
and doubtless they were to some extent. But the deputy- 
governor on the spot had no organized police or militia to 


support him. If he wanted to use force he had to pay for 
it, and if he drove his province to the point of rebellion he 
was unlikely to profit by it. 

The amount of revenue was fixed at Mandalay with 
reference to a rough estimate of what the province could 
pay, and that was divided amongst the townships and again 
amongst the villages. The headman of each village, assisted 
by a committee or Punchayet, as it would be called in 
India, settled the sum due from each householder, and this 
was as a rule honestly and fairly done. It was not a bad 
system on the whole, and it was in its incidence probably 
as just as local taxation in Great Britain, which I admit is 
somewhat faint praise. 

As to the administration of justice between man and 
man and the security of life and property, there was no 
doubt little refinement of law and not always impartiality 
in the judges. The majority of civil cases in a society 
like Burma, where there are few rich men and no great 
landowners, must be trivial, and in Burma disputes were 
settled by arbitration or by the village headmen, who could 
rarely set at nought the opinion of their fellow-villagers. 

In a country which is under-populated and contains vast 
areas of land fit for cultivation unoccupied and free to all, 
migration is a great check on oppression. Life is simple in 
Burma. The climate for the most of the year makes a 
roof unnecessary ; flitting is easy. Every man is his own 
carpenter. He has put together his house of bamboo and 
planks cut by his own hands. He knows how to take it 
down. He has not to send for contractors or furniture 
vans. There are the carts and the plough cattle in his 
sheds. He has talked things over with his wife, who is a 
capable and sensible woman. 

One morning they get up, and instead of going to his 
fields or his fishing or whatever it may be, he takes his 
tools, and before sunset, his wife helping, the house is down 
and, with the simple household goods, is in the cart. The 
children find a place in it, or if they are old enough they 
run along with the mother. If the local magistrate is so 
blind to his own interests as to oppress his people, there is 
another wiser man a few score leagues away who is ready 
to welcome them. For what is the good of land without 


men to live on it ? Is not the King's revenue assessed at 
so much to the house? But suppose the worst comes to 
the worst and the man in power is a fiend, and neither 
property nor life nor honour is safe from him, even then 
there is the great forest, in which life, though hard, is a real 
pleasure to a man; and, given a good leader, the oppressed 
may soon change places with his oppressor. 

We are too ready to imagine that life under such a King 
as Mind6n or even as Thebaw must be unbearable. We 
fancy them armed with all the organization of the Inland 
Revenue Department and supported by a force like our 
constabulary. Fortunately they were not. No system 
of extortion yet devised by the most ruthless and greedy 
tyrant is at all comparable in its efficacy to the scientific 
methods of a modern revenue officer. The world will 
see to what a perfection of completeness the arts of oppres- 
sion and squeezing can be carried when the power of 
modern European organization is in the hands of a socialist 

It need not be supposed, therefore, that under King 
Mindon life in Upper Burma was bad, and it must be 
remembered that since 1852 escape to British Burma, 
although forbidden, was not impossible. 

Under Thebaw things were different. Mindon was on 
the whole well-intentioned, and had kept the power in his 
own hands. Thebaw was weak and incompetent, and 
the Ministers who had most influence with him were the 
worst men. With his barbarities, old-fashioned rather 
than unexampled, and perhaps not much worse than the 
measures of precaution usually taken in Burma after the 
succession of a new king, or with the causes of the war 
which led to his deposition, the present narrative is not 
concerned. It is desired to give as clear an idea as possible 
of the state of Upper Burma when we were called upon to 
administer the country. 

The rapacity and greed of the Court, where the Queen 
Supayalat was the ruling spirit, set the example to the 
whole hierarchy of officials. The result was a state of ex- 
treme disorder throughout the whole kingdom. The demands 
made on the people for money became excessive and intoler- 
able. Men left their villages and took to the jungle. Bands 



of armed brigands, some of considerable strength under 
active leaders, sprang up everywhere. Formed in the first 
instance as a protest and defence against extortion, they 
soon began to live on the country and to terrorize the 
peasantry. After a time, brigands and Ministers, finding 
themselves working for a common object, formed an unholy 
alliance for loot. The leaders of the bands came to an 
understanding with the more powerful officials, who in turn 
leant upon them for support. 

Under such conditions it was not wonderful that the 
sudden seizure of the capital and the summary removal 
of the King should have completed the dissolution of society, 
already far advanced. The British Government, if it had 
decided to annex Upper Burma, might by a more leisurely 
occupation, not only with a larger military force, but with 
a complete staff of civil administrators, have saved the people 
from some years of anarchy and great suffering. But that 
is not our way, and under modern political conditions in 
England is impossible. 

The country was taken and its government destroyed 
before we had decided what we should do with it, or con- 
sidered the effect on the people. 

The King's rule ended on the 29th of November, 1885. 
On the 1st of January, 1886, the Viceroy's proclamation 
included Upper Burma in Her Majesty's dominions. The 
administration of the country was temporarily provided 
for by allowing the Hlutdaw, or great Council of State, to 
continue in power, discharging all its functions as usual, 
but under the gufdance of Colonel (afterwards Sir E. B.) 
Sladen, who was attached as Political officer to General 
Prendergast's staff. All Civil officers, British and Burmese, 
were placed under the Hlutdaw's orders, and the King's 
Burmese officials throughout the country were instructed 
to go on with the regular performance of their duties as 
if nothing had occurred. Some arrangement had to be 
made, and probably this was the best possible. The best 
was bad. 

On the 15th of December the Chief Commissioner, Sir 
Charles Bernard, arrived at Mandalay from Rangoon. 
On his way up the river he had visited Minhla, Pagan and 
Myingyan, where Civil officers, supported by small garrisons, 


had been placed by General Prendergast. He decided that 
these three districts should be removed from the jurisdic- 
tion of the Hlutdaw and controlled directly by himself. 
Mandalay town and district were similarly treated. A 
British officer was appointed to govern them, under the 
immediate orders of Colonel Sladen, who was responsible 
to the Chief Commissioner. 

All this must have confused the minds of the people and 
prevented those who were ready to submit to the British 
power from coming forward. Fortunately this period of 
hesitation was short. From the 26th of February, 1886, 
Upper Burma became a province of British India. 

When the Chief Commissioner, who had gone down to 
Kangoon with the Viceroy, returned to Mandalay, the 
Hlutdaw was finally dissolved and Sir Charles Bernard 
took the government into his own hands. A few of the 
Burmese Ministers were retained as advisers. At first they 
were of some use as knowing the facts and the ways of 
the King's administration. Very soon they became super- 

It must not be supposed that no steps had been taken 
towards the construction of an administration during the 
first two months of the year. Anticipating the decision 
of Her Majesty's Government, Sir Charles Bernard had 
applied his signal energy to this work, and before the end of 
February the Viceroy had laid his rough proposals before 
the Secretary of State. As soon as Upper Burma was 
incorporated with British India the scheme of government 
already drafted came into force. 

The country was mapped out into fourteen districts, corre- 
sponding as closely as possible to the existing provinces 
under the King, namely : 

Mandalay Minbu Pagan 

Katha Bhamo Ningyan, afterwards 

Ava Shwebo called Pyinmana 

Chindwin Kyaukse Ye-w 

Myingyan Sagaing Yamethin 

and after a time three more were added : Taungdwingyi, 
Meiktila, and the Euby Mines. The boundaries were 
necessarily left vague at first until more accurate knowledge 
of the country enabled them to be defined. At first there 


were no maps whatever. The greater part of the country 
had not been occupied nor even visited by us. 

To each district was appointed an officer of the Burma 
Commission under the style of Deputy Commissioner, with 
a British police officer to assist him and such armed force of 
police as could be assigned to him. His first duty was to 
get in touch with the local officials and to induce those 
capable and willing to serve us to retain or take office 
under our Government. 

Having firmly established his authority at headquarters, 
he was to work outwards in a widening circle, placing police 
posts and introducing settled administration as opportunity 
offered. He was, however, to consider it his primary object 
to attack and destroy the robber bands and to protect the 
loyal villages from their violence. There were few districts 
in which the guerilla leaders were not active. Their 
vengeance on every Burman who attempted to assist the 
British was swift and unmerciful. As it was impossible at 
first and for some time to afford adequate protection, villages 
which aided and sheltered the enemy were treated with con- 
sideration. The despatch of flying columns moving through 
a part of the country and returning quickly to headquarters 
was discouraged. There was a tendency in the beginning 
of the business to follow this practice, which was mis- 
chievous. If the people were friendly and helped the troops, 
they were certain to suffer when the column retired. If 
they were hostile, a hasty visit had little effect on them. 
They looked on the retirement as a retreat and became 
more bitter than before. 

Upper Burma was incorporated with British India on the 
26th of February. Thereupon the elaborate Statute law of 
India, including the Civil and Criminal Codes, came into 
force, a body of law which implies the existence of a 
hierarchy of educated and trained officials, with police and 
gaols and all the machinery of organized administration. 
But there were none of these things in Upper Burma, which 
was, in fact, an enemy's country, still frankly hostile to 
us. This difficulty had been foreseen, and the proper 
remedy suggested in Lord Dufferin's minute (dated at 
Mandalay on the 17th of February, 1886) in which he 
proposed to annex the country. 


The Acts for the Government of India give to the Secre- 
tary of State the power of constituting any province or part 
of a province an excepted or scheduled district, and there- 
upon the Governor of the province may draw up regulations 
for the peace and good government of the district, which, 
when approved by the Governor-General in Council, have 
the full force of law.* 

This machinery is put in force by a resolution of the 
Secretary of State in Council, and at the Viceroy's instance 
a resolution for this purpose was made, with effect from and 
after the 1st of March, 1886. It applied to all Upper Burma 
except the Shan States. 

Sir Charles Bernard was ready to take advantage of the 
powers given to him. Early in March he published an 
admirable rough code of instructions, sufficiently elastic 
to meet the varying conditions, and at the same time 
sufficiently definite to prevent anything like injustice or 
oppression. The summary given in Section 10 of the 
Upper Burma Administration Eeport for 1886 shows their 

" By these instructions each district was placed in charge 
of a Civil officer, who was invested with the full powers of a 
Deputy Commissioner, and in criminal matters with power 
to try as a magistrate any case and to pass any sentence. 
The Deputy Commissioner was also invested with full 
power to revise the proceedings of any subordinate magis- 
trate or official and to pass any order except an order 
enhancing a sentence. In criminal matters the courts 
were to be guided as far as possible by the provisions of the 
Code of Criminal Procedure, the Penal Code, and the Evidence 
Act (i.e., the Indian Codes). But dacoity or robbery was 
made punishable with death, though magistrates were 
instructed to pass capital sentences only in very heinous 
cases. In order to provide a safeguard against undue 
severity in the infliction of punishments, it was ordered 
that no capital sentence should be carried out except after 
confirmation by the Chief Commissioner. No regular 
appeals were allowed from any decision ; but it was open 
for any one who felt aggrieved by the decision of a sub- 

* " The Government of India," by Sir Courtenay Ilbert, chap. i. p. 105. 
Second edition. 


ordinate officer to move the Deputy Commissioner to revise 
the order, and for any one who demurred to an order passed 
by a Deputy Commissioner to bring the matter to the notice 
of the Chief Commissioner. 

" In revenue matters the customs of the country were as 
far as possible to be observed, save that no monopolies 
(except that of precious stones) were allowed and no customs 
or transport duties were levied. As regards excise adminis- 
tration, in accordance with the custom of the country the 
sale of opium and of intoxicating liquors to Burmans was 
prohibited. But a limited number of licences were issued 
for the sale of liquors to persons not of Burmese race, and 
the Chinese were specially exempted from the restrictions 
imposed on the traffic in opium." 

Thus in four months after annexation the country had 
been parcelled into seventeen districts, each under the 
charge of a Deputy Commissioner, who was guided b.y the 
provisional instructions and worked at first directly under 
the Chief Commissioner. It was thought (vide Lord 
Dufferin's minute of February 17, 1886) that the province 
could be worked, in the beginning, without any authority 
such as Divisional Commissioners or Sessions Judges inter- 
posed between the Chief Commissioner and the district 
officers. " I would adopt, as I have already said," wrote 
Lord Dufferin, " the simplest and cheapest system of 
administration open to us. There will be in each district 
or circle one British Civil officer and one police officer. 
The Civil officer will work through the indigenous agency 
of the country, Myo-oks (governors of towns), Thugyis 
(headmen of villages) and others, confining his efforts in the 
first instance to the restoration of order, the protection of 
life and property, and the assessment and collection of the 
ordinary revenue. . . . But most of the unimportant 
criminal work and nearly all the civil suits must be dis- 
posed of by the native officials, subject to the check and 
control of the district officer." 

The area of the province, excluding the Shan States, which 
were left to the care of their own chiefs, was nearly one 
hundred thousand square miles. It was divided into seven- 
teen districts. There were no roads in the interior, much 
of which was difficult country. The Irrawaddy, it is true, 


formed a splendid line of communication from north to 
south. But the river was not connected with the districts 
east or west of it by anything better than an ordinary 
village cart-track, with numerous streams and rivers, most 
of them unbridged. The Eastern districts between the 
Sittang and the Irrawaddy were especially inaccessible. 
Under such circumstances it was impossible for any man to 
discharge the duties imposed on the Chief Commissioner, 
even if all his subordinates had been endowed with ripe 
wisdom and experience. Only a man of the heroic energy 
and devotion of Sir Charles Bernard could have conceived it 
possible. Moreover, the Chief Commissioner was to be 
responsible for all death sentences, and was to be the final 
Court of Kevision for the province ; while the lower pro- 
vince also remained in his charge, and although he was 
relieved of the routine work of Lower Burma, the responsi- 
bility still rested on him, and was by no means nominal. It 
was not business. 

The difficulty soon began to be felt. In June a Commis- 
sioner was appointed for the Eastern Division, Mr. St. G. 
Tucker, from the Punjab. In August and September three 
more commissionerships were constituted, to one of which, 
the Northern, was appointed Mr. Burgess (the late Mr. 
G. D. Burgess), of the Burma Commission ; to the Central 
Division, Mr. F. W. Fryer (now Sir Frederick Fryer), from 
the Punjab ; and Mr. J. D. La Touche (now Sir James 
La Touche) from the North-Western Provinces to the 
Southern Division. The Chief Commissioner delegated 
to them, in their respective divisions, the general control 
of the district officers and the revision of their judicial 
proceedings, including the duty of confirming sentences 
of death. 

The administrative divisions of the province, excluding 
the Shan States, then stood as follows : 

1. The Northern Division ... Bhamo 

Kuby Mines 



2. The Central Division 

3. The Eastern Division 

4. The Southern Division . 







Ningyan (afterwards called 


This organization enabled the Chief Commissioner to 
attend to his own work and brought the task of governing 
the whole of Burma within the powers of an energetic 
man. It enabled him to give sufficient time to the organ- 
ization of the revenue and of the police and to the exercise 
of that control without which there could be no united 
action. The attempt to govern without an authority in- 
tervening between the executive officers in the districts 
and the head of the province was due to a desire for 
economy, and to the belief that in this way there would 
be closer connection and easier communication between 
the Chief Commissioner and the executive officers. In 
fact, the contrary was the result, and in all such cases 
must be. 

The framework of a civil administration had now been 
formed. It remained to give the district officers such 
armed support as would enable them to govern their 

In the autumn of 1886 the country generally was far 
from being under our control. It had been supposed that 
our coming was welcome to the people and that "the pro- 
spects of the substitution of a strong and orderly govern- 
ment for the incompetent and cruel tyranny of their former 
ruler " was by the people generally regarded with pleasure. 
(See Lord Dufferin's minute of February 17, 1886.) But 


by July it had become evident that a considerable minority 
of the population, to say the least, did not want us, and 
that until we proved our strength it was idle to expect 
active help even from our friends. 

The total military force hitherto employed in Upper 
Burma had been about fourteen thousand men. There 
was not anywhere in the whole country a well-armed or 
organized body of the enemy. A few hundred British 
troops could have marched from north to south or from 
east to west without meeting with very serious opposition 
or suffering much loss. Small flying columns could be 
moved through the country and might find no enemy, and 
might even gather from the demeanour of the people that 
they were welcome. When the soldiers passed on, the 
power of the British Government went with them, and the 
villagers fell back under the rule of the guerilla leaders 
and their gangs. At first there may have been some faint 
tinge of patriotism in the motives which drove the leaders 
and members of these bands to take the field. Very soon 
they became mere brigands, living on the villagers and 
taking whatever they wanted, including their women. 

" These bands are freebooters," wrote Sir George White* 
(to the Quartermaster-General in India, July 17, 1886), 
" pillaging wherever they go, but usually reserving the re- 
finement of their cruelty for those who have taken office 
under us or part with us. Flying columns arrive too late 
to save the village. The villagers, having cause to recognize 
that we are too far off to protect them, lose confidence 
in our power and throw in their lot with the insurgents. 
They make terms with the leaders and baffle pursuit of 
those leaders by roundabout guidance or systematic silence. 
In a country itself one vast military obstacle, the seizure 
of the leaders of the rebellion, though of paramount im- 
portance, thus becomes a source of greatest difficulty." 

The experience of the first half of 1886 had brought 
home to the Government of India as well as to the military 
officers in the field that the resistance was more wide- 
spread and more obstinate than any one had foreseen. Sir 
George White considered that " the most effective plan of 

* Major-General, commanding the Burma Field Force, now Field- 
Marshal Sir George White, V.C., G.C.B., &c. 


establishing our rule, and at the same time protecting and 
gaining touch of the villages, is a close occupation of the 
disturbed districts by military posts " (ibid.). Under the cir- 
cumstances, this was the best course to adopt, provided that 
the posts were strong enough to patrol the country and 
to crush every attempt at rising. The people might be 
held down in this way, but not governed. Something more 
was necessary. The difficulties were to be overcome rather 
by the vigorous administration of civil government than by 
the employment of military detachments scattered over 
the country. A sufficient force of armed police at the 
disposal of the civil officers was therefore a necessity. 

It had been foreseen from the first by Sir Charles 
Bernard and the Government of India, although the 
strength of the force necessary to achieve success was 
much under-estimated. In February, 1886, two military 
police levies, each of five hundred and sixty-one men, 
were raised from the Indian army. Of these one was sent 
to the Chindwin district and one to Mandalay. At the 
same time the recruitment of two thousand two hundred 
men in Northern India for a military police force was 
ordered. These men were untrained and came over in 
batches as they were raised. They were trained and dis- 
ciplined at Mandalay and other convenient places, and 
were distributed to the districts when they were sufficiently 
formed. Thus besides the soldiers the Chief Commissioner 
had about 3,300 men at his disposal. 

As the year went on and the magnitude of the under- 
taking began to be understood, the need of a much larger 
force was admitted. Two more levies were sanctioned. One 
from Northern India was raised without difficulty, and was 
posted to the railway line from Toungoo to Mandalay, 
which had been tardily sanctioned by the Secretary of State 
in November, 1886, and was at once put in hand. The 
other, a Gurkha battalion for use in the Northern frontier 
subdivision of Mogaung, was more difficult to recruit. 
At the end of the year two companies had arrived, and 
after being trained at Mandalay had gone on to Bhamo. 
By this time forty-six posts were held by the military 
police. The hunger for men, however, so far from being 
satisfied, continued to grow. After reviewing the position 


in November (1886) Sir Charles Bernard decided to ask the 
Government of India for sixteen thousand men, including 
those already sanctioned, nine thousand to be recruited in 
India and seven thousand in Burma. 

It was proposed that ultimately half of this force should 
be Indians and half local men. They were all to be 
engaged for three years, and were to be drilled and dis- 
ciplined, and divided into battalions, one for each district. 
Each battalion was to contain fixed proportions of Indians 
and local men, " under the command of a military officer 
for the purpose of training and discipline and under the 
orders of the local police officers for ordinary police work." 
At this time it was believed that Burmans, Shans, Karens 
and Kachins could by training and discipline become a 
valuable element in a military police force, and the experi- 
ment was made at Mandalay. This was the beginning of 
the Burma military police force, which contributed so pre- 
eminently to the subjugation and pacification of the province. 
The attempt to raise any part of it locally was, however, 
very quickly abandoned, and it was recruited, with the 
exception of a few companies of Karens, entirely from 

But to return to the middle of 1886. Sir George White, 
in writing to Army Headquarters, urged the necessity of 
reinforcements. The fighting had, it is true, been trivial 
and deaths in action or by wounds had amounted to six 
officers and fifty-six men only. Disease, however, had been 
busy. Exposure and fatigue in a semi-tropical climate, 
the want of fresh food in a country which gave little but 
rice and salt fish, was gradually reducing the strength and 
numbers of the force. One officer and two hundred and 
sixty-nine men had died of disease and thirty-nine officers 
and nine hundred and twenty men had been invalided 
between November, 1885, and July, 1886. 

There were few large bodies of the enemy in the field 
few at any rate who would wait to meet an attack. It 
was only by a close occupation of the disturbed districts by 
military posts that progress could be made. The Major- 
General Commanding did not shrink from this measure, 
although it used up his army. Fourteen thousand men 
looks on paper a formidable force, but more men, more 


mounted infantry, and especially more cavalry were 

It had been a tradition at Army Headquarters, handed 
down probably from the first and second Burmese Wars, 
that cavalry was useless in Burma. The experience of 
1885-6 proved it to be the most effective arm. It was 
essential to catch the " Bos," or captains of the guerilla 
bands, who gave life and spirit to the whole movement. 
Short compact men, nearly always well mounted, with a 
modern jockey seat, they were the first as a rule to run 
away. The mounted infantry man, British or Indian, a 
stone or two heavier, and weighted with rifle, ammunition, 
and accoutrements, on an underbred twelve-hand pony, had 
no chance of riding down a " Bo." But the trooper 
inspired the enemy with terror. 

"In a land where only ponies are bred the cavalry 
horses seem monsters to the people, and the long reach 
and short shrift of the lance paralyse them with fear," 
wrote Sir George White, and asked that as soon as the 
rains had ceased "three more regiments of cavalry, complete 
in establishments," should be added to the Upper Burma 
Field Force. 

The proposal was accepted by the Commander-in-Chief 
in India, Sir Frederick Roberts, and approved by the 
Government of India. It may be said here once for all 
that the Government of India throughout the whole of this 
business were ready to give the local authorities, civil and 
military, everything that was found necessary for the 
speedy completion of the work in hand, the difficulties of 
which they appreciated, as far as any one not on the spot 

"It is proposed," they wrote to Lord Cross (August 13, 
1886), " to reinforce the Upper Burma Field Force by 
three regiments of native cavalry and to relieve all or 
nearly all the corps and batteries which were despatched 
to Burma in October last. The troops to be relieved will 
be kept four or five months longer, so that, including those 
sent in relief, the force will be very considerable and should 
suffice to complete rapidly and finally the pacification and 
settlement of the whole country." 

In consequence of the increased strength of the field 



force the Government of India directed Lieutenant-General 
Sir Herbert Macpherson, Commander-in-Chief of the 
Madras Army, to transfer his headquarters to Burma and 
remain there until the conclusion of the operations. 
Unfortunately, Sir Herbert died shortly after reaching 
Burma. The Commander-in-Chief in India, Sir Frederick 
Roberts, then took charge of the business and landed in 
Rangoon in November. 

It was evident that Sir George White had not exag- 
gerated the difficulties of the work. After taking stock of 
the position, Roberts asked for five more regiments to be 
sent from India. During the cold or, as it should be called 
in Burma, the dry season following, much was done to gain 
control of the country, under the personal supervision of 
the Commander-in-Chief. Especially in the Eastern Divi- 
sion, where large bands of men under various pretenders 
had been most troublesome, the stern energy of General 
Lockhart produced a rapid and wholesome change. When 
Sir Frederick returned to India in February, 1887, the 
subjugation of Upper Burma had been accomplished and 
the way was cleared for the civil administration. But four 
years of constant patient work were needed before the 
country was pacified and the peasant who wished to live 
a life of honest industry could accomplish his desire. 


MY first acquaintance with Burma was made in the early 
part of 1883. I was then a member of the Legislative 
Council of India. Mr. Charles Bernard, who was Chief 
Commissioner of British Burma, had asked for a year's leave, 
and Lord Kipon^selected me to take his place. During that 
year, 1883-4, 1 went over Lower Burma British Burma as it 
was then called and learnt the methods of the administra- 
tion and became acquainted with the officers in the 
commission and the nature of the country and its people. 

There was at that time very little communication 
between the Court of and the Chief Commissioner, 
who represented the Governor-General in Council. The 
embassy which the King had sent to Simla with the 
ostensible purpose of making a new treaty had been 
suddenly recalled, notwithstanding, and perhaps in some 
degree because of, the very honourable and hospitable 
manner in which Lord Eipon had received it. The King 
was already negotiating a treaty with France, and in 1883, 
before the mission despatched for this purpose to Europe 
had left Mandalay, it was believed to have been drafted. 
But when I surrendered the office to Sir Charles Bernard 
on his return from leave in February, 1884, there was no 
thought of war in the near future. 

From Kangoon I was transferred to Nagpur, to the post 
of Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces. Towards 
the end of 1885, fever drove me to England on sick leave 
just as the relations with the King of Burma were broken 
off and war had become unavoidable. Keturning from 
leave in November, 1886, I found awaiting me at Suez 
orders posting me to the Public Service Commission, 



of which the late Sir Charles Aitchison was president. 
At Bombay I found instructions to proceed at once to 
Hyderabad in the Deccan, as the Viceroy (Lord Dufferin) 
desired to see me. At Hyderabad I waited on Lord 
Dufferin. He told me that Bernard might have to leave, 
and he wished to know if I would accept the appointment 
of Chief Commissioner of Burma if he decided to offer it to 
me. He added that it was in his opinion the post in all India 
most to be coveted, and that if he was not Viceroy he 
would choose Burma : an unnecessary stimulus, as ever 
since leaving that province in 1884 my ambition had been 
to succeed Bernard. I told the Viceroy that I would go 
to Burma if it were offered to me. 

I was with the Public Service Commission at Lahore, 
Allahabad, and Jubulpore, and back to Bombay, before 
I heard anything more about Burma. At the end of 
January, 1887, we were leaving the Parel Station, Bombay, 
for Madras, where the next sitting of the Commission was 
to be, when the train was stopped just as it began to 
move, and the station-master ran up with a clear-the- 
line message for me from the Viceroy, desiring me to wait 
further orders at Bombay. I left the train gladly, as I 
knew that it meant that I was to go to Burma, and I was 
delighted to be relieved from the work of the Commission, 
which was distasteful to me, especially as it appeared from 
the character of the evidence brought forward, a matter left 
entirely to the local Government in each province, not 
likely to lead to beneficial results. On the 3rd of February 
a telegram dated the 2nd came from the Viceroy, offering 
me the Chief Commissionership as Bernard's health had 
broken down, and desiring me to come to Calcutta to consult 
with the Government. 

As soon as I could arrange my affairs I went to Calcutta. 
The Viceroy received me on the 14th of February. He took 
me out to the lawn at the side where the great house throws 
a pleasant shade in the afternoon. There we sat, and Lord 
Dufferin explained to me how matters stood in Burma, and 
gave me his instructions on many points and on the general 
principles which he wished to guide the administration. 

The organization of the military police and the material 
of which the force was to be constituted was one of 


the chief matters he spoke about. He attached much 
importance to the enlistment of Burmans, Shans, and 
Karens, so that the unhealthy posts might be held by 
acclimatized natives. British officers would have to be 
posted to command them, and they must be relieved at 
short intervals. He showed me letters which had passed 
between him and Bernard about the military police force, to 
which, as an instrument in the pacification of the province, 
he attached the first importance. He spoke of the strength 
of the Commission, and told me to consider it carefully and 
ask for more men if I thought them necessary. Generally 
he considered that true economy dictated the expenditure of 
as much money as was necessary to fit out the new province 
with offices, roads, buildings, and river steamers, and it 
was folly, he said, not to give it. Barracks and shelter for 
troops and police should be vigorously pushed on. 

The questions of the Shan States and our relations with 
China were discussed. As to the Shan States, I represented 
the manner in which our relations with the feudatory chiefs 
in the Central Provinces were managed and the saving in 
cost and responsibility to be gained by leaving them quasi- 
independent. Lord Dufferin approved of this policy and 
preferred it to annexation, even in the case of the Wuntho 
Sawbwa, who had shown an inclination to refuse submission 
to our Government. 

The Viceroy spoke at length and with emphasis regard- 
ing our relations with China, which he looked upon as most 
important. We were face to face, he said, with a very 
powerful neighbour, who might greatly harass us if she or 
even her subordinate officials chose to worry us. Two 
officers of the Chinese Consular Service had been sent to 
Upper Burma to be at my disposal in dealing with the 
Chinese in Burma and in conducting relations with the 
Chinese Government. In the matter of the frontiers of 
Upper Burma, where they touched China, great care should 
be exercised. " Feel your way," he said, putting out his 
hand, " and when you come against anything hard, draw 
back," advice that was most sound in dealing with the ill- 
defined boundaries of a conquered province. We wished 
to hold what our predecessors had held or had been entitled 
to hold, and we did not desire to leave unoccupied space 


for others to come in. He told me to think carefully 
whether there was anything I wanted done and to let him 
know before I left. I was to see him again. 

In a country where one man is as good as another, where 
there are no landlords, no hereditary aristocracy and no 
tribal chiefs, the Government, especially a foreign Govern- 
ment, is at a great disadvantage. It is impossible to deal 
with each individual. The first question is, who is the 
great man of this village : who has influence, who knows 
the villagers, their characters and so on ? Having found 
the man, it becomes possible to enter into relations with 
the village and to treat with them as a whole. In Upper 
Burma there was a recognized headman in each village 
who had duties, and powers corresponding to his duties ; 
and in many administrative matters, especially in taxation, 
the village was dealt with as a whole. 

The difficulty in Lower Burma was the absence of such 
a local authority or unit. The villagers were not held 
together by any obligation to each other or by subordination 
to any one on the spot. Each man had his own bit of land 
which he held directly from the Government. He lived 
w r here he pleased, and if he put his house in the same 
place with other cultivators, it was for the sake of con- 
venience and protection. The villages were grouped for 
revenue purposes by the British administration under 
officials who collected the taxes and received a percentage 
on the amount. Each of these taik Thugyis (headmen of 
circles), as they were designated, had many villages under 
him and could not be expected to have local knowledge or 
personal influence in all of them. He had no powers out- 
side his revenue work. It was open to any one to put up 
his hut in any village, wherever he could find room. There 
was no one to say him nay, even if he was a gambler, an 
opium-eater, or a notorious evildoer living by theft and 
robbery. There were, it is true, village policemen appointed 
by law, who were intended to supply the wants of a local 
authority. But no power was given to them : they were 
subordinated to the regular civil police and had no status 
as revenue officials. Consequently they tended to become 
mere village drudges, although by no means useless and fre- 
quently showing both courage and sagacity in police matters. 


When I was in Burma in 1883-84 gang-robbery was 
prevalent, even in the neighbourhood of Rangoon; so much 
so as to demand close attention from the head of the pro- 
vince. I had observed that in nearly every case w r here a 
large gang of dacoits, to use the Indian term, was domin- 
ating a district or part of a district they were assisted by 
sympathisers, who sent them food, supplied them with 
information, and made it possible for them to live un- 
detected. The codes of Indian Criminal Procedure do not 
enable a magistrate to touch cases of this sort. If the 
people are against the Government and in 1887 they were 
certainly not minded to help it the difficulty of detecting 
and convicting such secret abettors is almost insuperable. 
At any rate, it was a slow process, and meanwhile violence 
and disorder flourished and the peasantry became more and 
more enthralled to the brigands. 

It occurred to me that nothing would give the civil 
magistrate more assistance than the power of summarily 
removing persons who, while they themselves appeared to 
be living harmless lives without reproach, were enabling 
the insurgent or brigand gangs to keep the field. 

I explained my views on these matters to the Viceroy. 
He promised me his support and desired me to embody my 
ideas in a draft Regulation before I left Calcutta. With 
the assistance of the Legislative Department the draft was 
quickly completed, and on my arrival in Burma it was cir- 
culated to district officers for their opinions. It was 
delayed by various formalities and inquiries, and was not 
finally made law until October, 1887. Founded so far as 
might be on the system indigenous to the country and in 
accord with the mind of the people, this law was a great aid 
to the administration. Writing in October, 1890, I said : 
"I think that most officers will now admit that the policy 
of dealing with the people by villages and not by individuals 
has been a very powerful instrument for suppressing dis- 
order and establishing our authority. It would not have 
been possible to use this instrument if the village system 
had no vitality. If we are to rule the country cheaply and 
efficiently and to keep the people from being robbed and 
oppressed by the criminal classes, the village system must 
be maintained in vigour. It cannot thrive or live unless 


the post of headman is sought after, or at least willingly 
accepted, by respectable persons." I believe the provisions 
of the village regulation are still a living force and are 
brought into action when occasion arises. But the life of 
the system is the headman, his dignity and his position. 
This is what the author of " The Soul of a People " wrote 
in 1898 : 

" So each village managed its own affairs untroubled by 
squire or priest, very little troubled by the State. That 
within their little means they did it well no one can doubt. 
They taxed themselves without friction, they built their 
own monastery schools by voluntary effort, they maintained 
a very high, a very simple, code of morals entirely of their 
own initiative. 

''All this has passed or is passing. The King has gone 
to a banishment far across the sea, the Ministers are either 
banished or powerless for good or evil. It will never rise 
again, this government of the King which was so bad in all 
it did and only good in what it left alone. It w T ill never 
rise again. The people are now part of the British Empire, 
subjects of the Queen. What may be in store for them in 
the far future no one can tell ; only we may be sure that 
the past can return no more. And the local government 
is passing away too. It cannot exist with a strong Govern- 
ment such as ours. For good or for evil, in a few years, it 
too, will be gone." * 

This is a prophecy which I believe has not yet been 
fulfilled, and I hope never will. But to return to the order 
of events. 

I was detained in Calcutta until the 24th of February. 
Time by no means wasted. I had frequent opportunities 
of seeing the Members of Council and learning what was 
going on in each department. Lord Dufferin allowed me 
to discuss matters with him more than once. On the 
19th I attended His Excellency in Council and explained 
my views, especially regarding the village system. Leaving 
Calcutta in the British India steamship Eangoon on the 
24th, I landed at Eangoon on Sunday the 27th of March. 
Next day I relieved Sir Charles Bernard and took charge 
of the Province of Burma. 

* " The Soul of a People," pp. 103-4. 


In order to enable the Chief Commissioner to give more 
time to the affairs of Upper Burma, a Special Commissioner, 
Mr. Hodgkinson, had been appointed to take immediate 
charge of the older province. I found that the Special 
Commissioner was in fact ruler of the Lower Province, and 
was so regarded by the public. Nothing which was not 
of a very extraordinary nature was referred to the Chief 
Commissioner, whose responsibility, however, remained un- 
impaired. For example, two or three days after my arrival 
the Viceroy telegraphed in cipher to the Chief Commis- 
sioner about some matters in Lower Burma which had 
given rise to questions in Parliament, and of which the 
responsible Chief Commissioner had no cognizance. No 
more competent and trustworthy man than Mr. Hodgkinson 
could have been found for the work. Nevertheless the 
arrangement did not seem to me quite satisfactory. 

There were urgent matters requiring to be settled with 
Mr. Hodgkinson, more especially the Budget of the Province 
and the organization of the police in Lower Burma, which 
needed thorough reform. They had earned the reputation 
of being the worst and the most costly in the world, and 
during the last eighteen months they had not belied it. 
It was necessary to form a body of military police for 
Lower Burma of suitable Indians, trained and disciplined. 
During the few days I was in Rangoon this and other 
urgent matters for example, the arrangements with the 
Bombay Burma Company about the Upper Burma Forests, 
the Ruby Mines, the condition of some of the Lower 
Burma districts, the postings of officers, the distribution 
of reinforcements of military police just disembarking 
from the transports, consultations with the General Com- 
manding in Lower Burma as to the measures necessary 
along and beyond the line of the old frontier within the 
limits of his command, all these things and much more 
would have given me plenty of work for many days. 

I could only dispose of those matters which required 
my personal orders and leave the rest to Mr. Hodgkinson. 
I could not remain in Rangoon. Sir Charles Bernard 
had a powerful memory. The Upper Burma Secretariat 
was, as has been said, in Mandalay ; when Sir Charles 
Bernard was in Rangoon, he relied to a great extent on 


his memory. Letters and telegrams received from Man- 
dalay were dealt with and returned with his orders, no 
copies for reference being kept. As the Rangoon Secre- 
tariat was ignorant of Upper Burma affairs, I found myself 
completely in the air. I decided therefore to start as soon 
as possible for Mandalay. 

I left Kangoon by rail for Prome on the 9th of March. 
At Prome a Government steamer, the Sir William Peel, 
was waiting for me, and I reached Mandalay on the 14th. 
To a man sailing up the river there were few signs of 
trouble. The people appeared to be going about their 
business as usual, and no doubt along the river bank 
and in the neighbourhood of our posts there was little 
disorder. But this appearance was deceptive. Just beyond 
the old frontier the country from the right bank of the 
Irrawaddy up to the Arakan Yoma was in the hands of 

On the right bank of the river, forty miles above 
Thayetmyo, is the Burman fort and town of Minhla, where 
the first opposition was offered to the British expedition. 
I found here a small detachment of Indian troops, and in 
the town, about half a mile off, a police post. I learnt from 
the British officer commanding the detachment and from the 
Burman magistrate that for some fifty miles inland, up 
to the Chin hills on the west, the villages were deserted and 
the headmen had absconded. This is an unhealthy tract, 
with much jungle, and broken up into small valleys by the 
spurs from the Arakan mountains. The noted leader Bo 
Swe made his lair here and had still to be reckoned 
with. His story illustrates the difficulties which had to be 

In November, 1885, after taking Minhla, a district was 
formed by Sir Harry Prendergast consisting of a large 
tract of country above the British Burma frontier on both 
sides of the river to Salin, north of Minbu, on the right bank, 
and including Magw& and Yenangyoung on the left. This 
district was known at first as Minhla, but afterwards as 
Minbu, to which the headquarters were moved. Mr. Robert 
Phayre, of the Indian Civil Service and of the British 
Burma Commission, was left in charge, supported by a small 


Mr. Phayre, a relative of that distinguished man, Colonel 
Sir Arthur Phayre, the first Chief Commissioner of British 
Burma, was the right man for the work. He began by 
getting into touch with the native officials, and by the 15th 
of December all those on the right bank of the river had 
accepted service under the new Government. Outposts 
were established, and flying columns dispersed any gather- 
ings of malcontents that were reported. A small body of 
troops from Thayetmyo, moving about in the west under 
the Arakan hills, acted in support of Minhla. Eevenue 
began to come in, and at Yenangyoung, the seat of the 
earth-oil industry, work was being resumed. Everything 
promised well. 

There were two men, however, who had not been or 
would not be propitiated, Maung Swe and Oktama. Maung 
Swe was hereditary headman or Thugyi of Mindat, a village 
near the old frontier. He had for years been a trouble to 
the Thayetmyo district of British Burma, harbouring 
criminals and assisting dacoit gangs to attack our villages, 
if he did not lead them himself. He had been ordered up 
to Mandalay by the Burmese Government owing to the 
strong remonstrances of the Chief Commissioner. 

On the outbreak of war Bo * Swe was at once sent back 
to do his utmost against the invaders. So long as there 
was a force moving about in the west of the district he was 
unable to do much. When the troops were withdrawn (the 
deadly climate under the hills compelled their recall), he 
began active operations. 

The second man was named Cktama, one of the most 
determined opponents of the British. He had inspired his 
followers with some of his spirit, whether fanatical or 
patriotic, and harassed the north of the district about and 
beyond Minbu. His gang was more than once attacked 
and dispersed, but came together again. He and Maung 
Swe worked together and between them dominated the 

In May, 1886, Maung Swe was attacked and driven back 
towards the hills. He retired on Ngape, a strong position 
thirty miles west of Minbu and commanding the principal 

* Bo means " Captain " ; Maung is the ordinary way of addressing a 
Burinan, the equivalent of " Mister." 


pass through the mountains into Arakan. Early in June, 
1886, Mr. Phayre, with fifty sepoys of a Bengal infantry 
regiment and as many military police (Indians), started 
from Minbu to attack Maung Swe, who was at a place 
called Padein. The enemy were reinforced during the 
night by two or three hundred men from Ngape. The 
attack was delivered on the 9th of June, and Phayre, 
who was leading, was shot dead. His men fell back, 
leaving his body, which was carried off by the Burmans, but 
was afterwards recovered and buried at Minbu. Three 
days after this two parties of Oktama's gang who had taken 
up positions near Salin were attacked by Captain Dunsford. 
His force consisted of twenty rifles of the Liverpool 
Regiment and twenty rifles of the 2nd Bengal Infantry. 
The Burmans were driven from their ground, but Captain 
Dunsford was killed and a few of our men wounded. 

Reinforcements were sent across the river from Pagan : 
and Major Gordon, of the 2nd Bengal Infantry, with ninety- 
five rifles of his own regiment, fifty rifles of the Liverpool 
Regiment, and two guns 7-1 R.A., attacked Maung Swe in a 
position near Ngape. The Burmans fought well, but were 
forced to retire. Unfortunately the want of mounted men 
prevented a pursuit. The enemy carried off their killed and 
wounded. Our loss was eight men killed and twenty-six 
wounded, including one officer. We then occupied Ngape 
in strength, but in July the deadly climate obliged us to 

Maung Swe returned at once to his lair. By the end of 
August the whole of the western part of the district was 
in the hands of the insurgents, rebels, or patriots, according 
to the side from which they are seen. 

Meanwhile Salin had been besieged by Oktama. He was 
driven off after three days by Captain Atkinson, who brought 
up reinforcements to aid the garrison of the post. Captain 
Atkinson was killed in the action. Thus in a few weeks 
these two leaders had cost us the lives of three officers. 

In the course of the operations undertaken under Sir 
Frederick Roberts's command in the open season of 1886-87, 
this country was well searched by parties of troops with 
mounted infantry. Bo Swe's power was broken, and in 
March, 1887, he was near the end of his exploits. In the 


north of the district, the exertions of the troops had made 
little impression on Oktama's influence. The peasantry, 
whether through sympathy or fear, were on his side. 

I have troubled the reader with this story because it will 
help to the understanding of the problem we had before 
us in every part of Upper Burma. It will explain how 
districts reported at an early date to be " quite peaceful" 
or " comparatively settled" were often altogether in the 
hands of hostile bands. They were reported quiet because 
we could hear no noise. We were outsiders, as indeed we 
are, more or less, not only in Burma but in every part of 
the Indian Empire less perhaps in Burma than elsewhere. 

On the way up the river I had the advantage of meeting 
Mr. (now Sir James) La Touche, the Commissioner of the 
Southern Division, Sir Eobert Low,* commanding at 
Myingyan, Brigadier-General Anderson, Captain Eyre, the 
Deputy Commissioner of Pagan district (which then 
included Pakokku and the Yaw country), and others. At 
Mandalay I was able to consult with General Sir George 
White, commanding the field force, with His Excellency 
Sir Charles Arbuthnot, the Commander-in-Chief of the 
Madras Army, and with the civil officers, namely, the 
Commissioner of the Northern Division, Mr. Burgess,! 
and Mr. (now Sir Frederick) Fryer, the Commissioner of 
the Central or Sagaing Division, and their subordinates. 
No more capable or helpful men could have been found. 
The Commissioner of the Eastern Division was out of reach 
for the time. The only way of getting to that country was 
by road from Mandalay, which would have taken many 
days. I had to wait until I returned to Eangoon and 
could go by rail to Toungoo before I made acquaintance 
with Mr. Henry St. George Tucker, of the Indian Civil 
Service, a Punjab officer. 

* The late General Sir Eobert Cunliffe Low, G.C.B. 
f The late Mr. G. D. Burgess, C.S.I., Judicial Commissioner, Upper 


I WILL now give as brief a sketch as may be of the 
state of Upper Burma when I arrived in Mandalay in 
March, 1887. 

Upper Burma, inclusive of the Shan States, contains in 
round numbers one hundred and sixty thousand square 
miles, of which the Shan States cover sixty thousand miles 
and the Chin hills ten thousand. It may be divided, for 
the present purpose, into four parts. The first is the great 
valley of the Irrawaddy, from the mountain ranges north of 
Mogaung to the northern boundary of the Thayetmyo 
district ; the second is the valley of the Chindwin ; the third 
is the valley of the Sittang, in which lies the Eastern 
Division, down to the boundary of the Toungoo district ; 
and the fourth is the Shan States. In 1887 the British 
administration had not yet touched the Chin hills or the 
Kachins in the mountains which divide Burma from China. 

Beginning with the Irrawaddy Valley, Mogaung, the 
most northerly post of importance, was held by a Burman 
Myook, or township officer, nominally for us. He collected 
the revenue and spent it much, no doubt, on his establish- 
ment, for which no regular provision had been made. 
South of Mogaung as far as Bhamo the country was quiet, 
and no organized gangs were in the field. The Katha 
district, which comes next below Bhamo, was disturbed 
on the Wuntho border, and was not much under control. 

The Wuntho Sawbwa, a Shan chief exercising inde- 
pendent jurisdiction within his country, had refused our 
invitation to come in. A strong force under Brigadier- 
General Cox, with Mr. Burgess, the Commissioner of the 
Northern Division, had gone to try the methods of peaceful 



persuasion. The districts south of Katha, namely Shwebo 
and Ye-u, were controlled by dacoit gangs under active 

On the left bank of the river the Shan States of Moh- 
laing and Mongmit were disturbed by the raids of Hkam 
Leng (vide Chapter XX.). The Ruby Mines district, with 
its capital, Mogok, was held in force and had remained 
submissive since its occupation. 

South of the ruby mines lies the district of Mandalay, 
shut in on the north and east by the Shan hills. There 
was a British force of some thousand men of all arms in 
Mandalay itself, with several outlying detachments and a 
strong party in the hills at Pyinulwin,* forty miles on the 
road to Hsipaw. In spite of this force the district was 
dominated by three or four leaders, who had large follow- 
ings and acted in concert. They had divided the country 
between them into definite jurisdictions, which they mutually 
respected. They collected revenue from the villagers. Dis- 
obedience or any attempt to help the British Government 
met with swift and severe punishment. They professed to 
be acting under the authority of the Myingun Prince, who 
was at the time a refugee in Pondicherry, and they were 
encouraged and helped to combine by a relative of the 
Prince, known as the Bayingan or Viceroy, who went from 
one to the other and supplied them with information. The 
district of Ava, south of Mandalay, was in a similar state. 
The valleys of the Samon and Panlaung gave good shelter 
to the dacoit s. Unfortunately several district boundaries 
and divisions of military commands met in this country, 
and on that account action was not so prompt as it ought 
to have been. 

Following the river below Ava, the Myingyan and Pagan 
districts extended to both sides of the river, an inconvenient 
arrangement inherited from the Burmese Government. The 
headquarters of these districts, both on the left bank, were 
held by garrisons of some size, and within striking range 
the country was controlled. 

About forty miles from Pagan town, and as many from 

* Now the hill station for Upper Burma, named Maymyo from 
Colonel May, who commanded the Bengal Eegiment, which garrisoned 
the place in 1887. 


the river, is the isolated hill or mountain of Popa. It rises 
to a height of four thousand five hundred feet, a gigantic 
cone throwing out numerous spurs. It is wooded thickly 
almost to the top, and extending for a long distance round 
it is a tangle of scrub jungle and ravines, an ideal hunting- 
ground for robbers and the home of cattle- thieves. 

South of this was the Taungdwingyi district, extending 
down to the old border. It was in the hands of a leader 
named Min Yaung, who was well provided with ponies, and 
even elephants. The northern spurs of the Pegu Yoma 
divide this district from the Sittang Valley, and are densely 
wooded, offering a harbour of refuge to criminals. To this, 
among other causes, it was due that this district gave more 
trouble than any other in Upper Burma. It was at that 
time separated from the river by the Magwe township, 
which belonged to the Minbu district, and enjoyed com- 
parative peace, owing mainly to the influence of the 
Burman governor, who had taken service under us and 
for a time was loyal. 

These parts of the Myingyan and Pagan districts, which 
were on the right bank of the Irrawaddy, were not really 
under our control or administered by us. The wild tract 
on the Yaw (vide Chapter XXI., p. 295), which was much 
left to itself in Burmese times, had not been visited, and 
was overrun by dacoits. 

Southward, still on the right bank, came the Minbu dis- 
trict, where Oktama and Bo Swe were still powerful, the 
former in full force. 

The difficulties of country and climate which our men 
had to face in this district were very great. The west of 
the Minbu district lies up against the range of mountains 
known as the Arakan Yoma, which run parallel to the sea 
and shut off the Irrawaddy Valley from the Bay of Bengal. 
The country below the Yoma is what is known in India as 
Terai, a waterlogged region reeking with malaria, deadly 
to those not acclimatized. Many a good soldier, British 
and Indian, found his grave in the posts occupied in this 
district, Taingda, Myothit, Ngape, and Sidoktaya. The 
dacoit leaders knew the advantage of being able to live 
where our men could not. Soldiers like Captain Golightly 
(Colonel K. E. Golightly, D.S.O., late of the 60th Eifles) 


and his mounted infantry would have made short work of 
them under less adverse conditions. 

Passing to the Chindwin, which joins the Irrawaddy at 
Pakokku, twenty-five miles above Myingyan, the Upper 
Chindwin* was fairly quiet. The two local potentates, the 
Sawbwa of Hsawnghsup and the Sawbwa of Kale, were not 
of much importance. The former had made his submis- 
sion ; the latter was holding aloof, but had shown his good- 
will by arresting and delivering to the Deputy Commissioner 
a pretender who had attacked a British post and was gather- 
ing to his banner various leaders. Lower down, the country 
round Mingin, where Mr. Gleeson, Assistant Commissioner, 
was murdered in 1886, was much disturbed. In the Lower 
Chindwin there was trouble in Pagyi and Pakangyi. The 
former country, which is covered with forests and very 
unhealthy, had been placed under the management of Bur- 
mans of local influence a plan which answered for a time. 
The Kani township, which adjoins Mingin, had been 
governed from the first by the Burmese Wun well and 
loyally. He was murdered on that account by a dacoit 
leader. His younger brother was appointed in his room 
and followed in his steps. On the left bank the country 
was not openly disturbed. The river trade was busy, but 
boats were obliged to take a guard or to be convoyed by 
a steam-launch. 

At this time the cause of order seemed nearer victory 
in the Eastern Division than elsewhere. The Sittang Valley 
includes the Kyaukse district, which at first was placed 
under the Commissioner of the Central Division, but was 
allied in dacoit politics to Meiktila. Myat Hmon, Maung 
Gyi, and Maung Lat, names well known to soldiers in 
1885-6, hunted this country, making the Hmawwaing 
jungles their rallying-ground. When hard-pressed they 
took refuge in the hills of Baw and Lawksawk, coming 
back when the troops retired. In the three districts of 
Meiktila, Yamethin, and Pyinmana, which then formed the 
Eastern Division under Mr. H. St. George Tucker, General 
Sir William Lockhart had given them no rest day or night. 
Nevertheless, in March, 1887, large bands were still active. 

* The district was not formally divided into Upper and Lower until 


The Shan States were in a very troubled state, but a 
good beginning had been made, and Mr. Hildebrand had 
nearly succeeded in breaking up the Limbin Confederacy 
(vide Chapter XV.). But throughout the plateau dacoities 
were rife and petty wars were raging. Wide tracts were 
laid waste, and the peasantry, deserting their fields, had 
joined in the fights or gone across the Sal ween. Great 
scarcity, perhaps in some cases actual famine, resulted, not 
from failure of rain, but from strife and anarchy. And this 
reacted on Burma proper, for some of the Shan States on 
the border gave the dacoits encouragement and shelter. 

The whole of Upper Burma at this time was in military 
occupation. There were one hundred and forty-one posts 
held by troops, and yet in wide stretches of country, in the 
greater part of the Chindwin Valley, in the Mogaung 
country and elsewhere, there was not a soldier. The tide, 
however, was on the turn. The officers in command of 
parties and posts were beginning to know the country and 
the game, while the dacoits and their leaders were losing 
heart. The soldiers had in fact completed their task, 
and they had done it well. What remained to be done was 
work for the civil administrator. 

The first and essential step was to enable the civil officers 
to get a firm grip of their districts. For this purpose a 
civil police force, recruited from the natives of the country, 
was necessary. Without it, detection and intelligence 
were impossible. Commissioners and generals were alike 
unanimous on this point. 

The next thing was to provide an armed force at the 
disposal of the district officer, so that he should be able 
to get an escort immediately for there was no district 
where an Englishman could yet travel safely without an 
armed escort and should be able also to quell risings and 
disperse ordinary bands of insurgents or brigands without 
having to ask assistance from the army. The military 
police had been designed and raised for these purposes, and 
the men were being distributed as fast as they arrived 
from India. 

The relations of the district officers to the commandants 
of military police and of the latter to the civil 
police officers, and the duties and spheres of each, had to 


be defined. I had drafted regulations for these purposes, 
and was waiting for the appointment of an Inspector- 
General to carry them out. It had been decided before I 
left Calcutta that a soldier should be selected for this post. 
The military police force was in fact an army of occupation 
sixteen thousand strong. Many of them were old soldiers 
who had volunteered from the Indian regiments, the rest 
were recruited mainly from the fighting races of Northern 
India. And they were commanded by young officers, some 
of whom had come with somewhat exalted ideas of their 
independence. It was imperative, therefore, to get an able 
soldier who could look at matters from all points of view, 
and who could manage men as well as command them. 
For it required a delicate touch to avoid friction between 
the military and civil members of the district staff. Some 
of the civil officers were young, some were quite without 
experience, and some were inferior to the military com- 
mandants in force and ability. 

In April, 1887, Colonel E. Stedman, commanding the 
3rd Gurkhas, who had accompanied Mr. Hildebrand to the 
Shan States, was appointed to be Inspector-General of 
Police in Upper Burma, with the military rank of Brigadier- 
General. Among the many able officers of the Indian 
Army it would have been hard to find another man equally 
adapted to the work. I had reason to be grateful to 
General Stedman (now Sir Edward Stedman, G.C.B., 
K.C.I.E.) and to the Commander-in-Chief, Lord Eoberts 
(then Sir Frederick), who selected him. 

On the 21st of March, 1887, I wrote to Lord Dufferin 
regarding the relations of the district and police officers 
as follows : " The relations between Deputy Commis- 
sioners, District Superintendents (Civil Police) and Com- 
mandants (Military Police) are ill-defined and work badly, 
unless all are really good fellows. I have decided to keep 
the Commandant to his military work, and the District 
Superintendent of Police to the real civil police duty 
intelligence, detection, and investigation. The Deputy 
Commissioner has by law supreme control and must 
exercise it. ... The Deputy Commissioners have no hold 
on their districts, and through the absence of a civil police 
they get no intelligence and no touch with the people. 


Hence our military parties sometimes go wandering about 
blindly, unable to get any information. There must be 
a completely separate trained body of Burman Civil Police, 
trained not to arms but to their police duties. ... I 
have got orders under issue about the location of posts and 
everything connected with them and the constitution of 
the police in them. We must have some Burmans and 
some Civil Police Burmans in every police post, and I 
think in every military post also." 

The details of these matters could not be settled until 
General Stedman came to take up the work. Meanwhile 
I must return to affairs at Mandalay. 


SOON after my arrival in Mandalay I made the Thathana- 
baing's acquaintance. He is the head of the Buddhist 
monks, the religious order which in Bishop Bigandet's 
words is " The greatest in its extent and diffusion, the 
most extraordinary and perfect in its fabric and constituent 
parts, and the wisest in its rules and prescriptions that 
has ever existed either in ancient or modern times outside 
the pale of Christianity." * The Thathanabaing is the 
head of this order for purposes of discipline and for settling 
doctrinal disputes. His title means that he has power 
over all religious matters. It is misleading to speak of 
him as an archbishop or to apply any of the titles of the 
Christian Church to the Buddhist monks, who are not 
priests in any sense, but " are the strict followers of Buddha, 
who, like him, have renounced the world to devote them- 
selves to the twofold object of mastering their passions 
and acquiring the true wisdom which alone can lead to 
the deliverance."! " The regulations they are subject to 
and the object they have in view in entering the religious 
profession debar them from concerning themselves in affairs 
that are foreign to their calling." J 

The great mass of the Pongyis, or monks, in Upper 
Burma, who may have numbered in 1887 twenty or thirty 
thousand persons, obeyed the rules of their order and took 
no part in the troubles that followed the annexation. In 
the King's time the Thathanabaing neither personally nor 
as representative of the order interfered in affairs of State. 

* " Legend of Graudama," vol. ii., p. 319. (Trubner, 1880.) 

t Ibid., p. 242. 

Ibid., p. 303. 



He might have, as a work of mercy, pleaded for the remis- 
sion of a sentence, but it is doubtful whether he went 
beyond that, or whether he had any political influence in 
our sense of the word. As a " religious " he would have, 
and was bound to have, no concern with mundane affairs. 
Could he bring any influence to bear on the people at 
large to induce them to submit peacefully to our rule ? 

"When we speak," writes Bishop Bigandet,* "of the 
great influence possessed by the religious order of Buddhist 
monks we do not intend to speak of political influence. 
It does not appear that in Burma they have ever aimed 
at any share in the management or direction of the affairs 
of the country. Since the accession of the house of 
Alomphra to the throne, that is to say, during a period 
of above a hundred years, the history of Burma has been 
tolerably well known. We do not recollect having ever 
met with one instance when the Pongyis, as a body, have 
interfered in the affairs of State. But in a religious point 
of view," continues Bishop Bigandet, "their influence 
is a mighty one." And undoubtedly if they were an 
energetic, ambitious, and intellectual body, instead of a 
thoroughly lazy and densely ignorant set of men, they 
might easily direct this influence to worldly purposes, and 
they might have excited the people to resist the British. 

One of my first acts at Mandalay was to issue orders 
for the repair of monasteries occupied by our men and 
for making compensation in some form to the monks, and 
at least twice afterwards I reiterated and enlarged these 
orders. No doubt this matter of the monasteries was a 
grievance. But, as often happens, it was made more of 
by busybodies and correspondents interested in defaming 
the administration than by the sufferers. It was an un- 
fortunate necessity of war. The only remedy was to build 
barracks and reduce the garrison, both of which were 
done with all the speed possible. It is worth noting that 
the Thathanabaing did not make any complaint to me 
on this head. In his conversations with me he dwelt 
mainly on the sufferings caused to the monks by the 
removal of the inhabitants from the walled city, which 
was being converted into a cantonment. The monks 
* "Legend of Gaudama," vol. ii., p. 303. 


living in the cluster of great Kyaungs (monasteries), of 
which the Incomparable was the centre, depended on the 
faithful in the city for their food. I reminded him of the 
removal of the people by their own monarchs, first from 
Ava to Amarapura and then from Amarapura to Mandalay. 
He replied that the King removed the Jcyaungs with 
the people, and put them up on the new sites at the 
public cost, and also compelled his Ministers to build new 
monasteries. He was amused by my suggesting that the 
Commissioner and the secretary who accompanied me should 
be ordered to erect some monasteries on the sites to 
which the people were being moved. He saw the humour 
of it. 

I found the Thathanabaing in my intercourse with him 
always courteous and good-humoured ; and in his bearing 
there was neither arrogance nor ill-will. Of the Pongyis 
generally in Upper Burma I saw something, as in riding 
about the districts (there were no motors or tents for Chief 
Commissioners in those days) we had generally to ask the 
Pongyis to give us shelter ; and their manner was courteous 
and hospitable. Not a few, I thought, felt and deplored 
the misery which the disturbances caused, and would have 
been glad to work for peace. It must be remembered that 
from the experience of our rule in Lower Burma they knew 
the attitude of the British Government towards their religion. 
They had no reason to fear oppression or persecution. 
They knew at the same time that in losing a Buddhist King 
their position and influence must be lowered. They could 
hardly be asked to rejoice with us. 

In common with others who know Burma better, I doubt 
if the religious orders as a body had much influence on 
the course of events, or took an active part in the resistance 
to us. When a monk became a noted leader, it was a 
patriot who had been a monk and not a monk who had 
become a patriot. At the same time some of the most 
serious and deepest-laid plots were hatched in monasteries 
or initiated by Pongyis. 

I may give some instances of the conduct and feelings of 

In August, 1887, a pretender calling himself the Pakan 
Prince joined a conspiracy to get up a rebellion in Mandalay. 


The police detected the movement and the prince was 
arrested. The prince told all that he knew. The originator 
of the scheme was a Sadaw or Abbot living in one of the 
Thathanabaing's monasteries. He made his escape. I sent 
for the Thathanabaing and he consented readily at my 
request to cite the Sadaw to appear before him and to pro- 
claim him as a man with whom Pongyis should not associate. 
Whether he was sincere or not, I cannot say. But he issued 
the injunction and I took care it was widely published. 
Another case shows how the people as well as the Pongyis 
were coming to regard us. The town of Tabayin in the Ye-u 
(now Shwebo) district was burnt by insurgents soon after our 
occupation of Mandalay. It was rebuilt in 1887 owing to the 
exertions of certain Pongyis formerly attached to the place. 
In order to ensure protection for the new town the Pongyis 
induced the people to build a barrack at their own expense 
for the police. Similarly, in July, 1887, when I was at 
Ngathaingyaung in the Bassein district of Lower Burma 
the people were glad to have a detachment of Bengal In- 
fantry (7th Kegiment) in one of the monasteries. They wel- 
comed them. One of the monks had learned Hindustani 
from the men ; and the Abbot, or head Pongyi, told me he 
would gladly give up his own monastery if it was wanted for 
the soldiers. 

Another matter which occupied my attention in Mandalay 
at this time was our position towards the Chinese in Upper 
Burma. They are most numerous in the Northern Division 
and congregate in Bhamo and Mandalay. They numbered 
according to the census of 1901 about ten thousand, and may 
have been less in 1887. Owing to their energy in trade and 
their wealth they formed a not insignificant body, and like 
most bodies they had their grievances. 

It was arranged to hold a meeting in order to let them 
state their complaints. All the prominent Chinese in 
Mandalay attended the meeting, and Mr. Warry was present 
to interpret for me. They had minor grievances about the 
collection of the jade duties and the farm of the india-rubber 
tax in the Mogaung subdivisions. These things were easily 
arranged. The chief subject of complaint, however, was the 
difficulty in procuring and trading in opium, a matter not 
to be easily settled. The regulations issued by the Chief 


Commissioner in March, 1886, practically stopped the 
traffic. The words were these : 

" No shops whatever will be licensed for the sale of 
opium, inasmuch as all respectable classes of Burmans 
are against legalizing the consumption of opium in the new 
province. Any one found selling opium to persons other 
than Chinese, or transporting opium in quantities above 
three tolahs, or keeping a saloon for consuming opium, will 
be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding Rs. 500 or 
to three months' imprisonment, or to both. As traffic 
in opium was absolutely prohibited under the Burmese 
Government, there will be no hardship in thus proscribing 
opium dealings." 

The Chinese, however, considered it the greatest hardship. 
The small quantity, little more than one ounce troy weight, 
which might be lawfully transported, practically stopped 
dealings in the drug. This provision may not seem to go 
beyond the regulations of the Burmese Government. But 
there was all the difference between a rule meant to be 
enforced and one that could be easily evaded or was not 
intended to be made effective. No doubt the prohibition 
by the King of the use of opium by Burmans was real, and 
was backed by religious precept and influence ; but the 
restrictions on the Chinese were laxly administered and 
were not too inconvenient to them. 

If the Burmese alone had been concerned, opium might 
have been prohibited altogether, and the prohibition might 
have been made effectual, for it would have been backed 
by a very strong religious sanction. But the Chinamen 
had to be considered. It was contrary to our interests and 
wishes, especially at that time, in Upper Burma to make 
things unpleasant for them. They are at all times a useful 
and enterprising element in the population, although the 
ingenuity of the least reputable amongst them in exploiting 
the Burmans and leading them to gamble and to smoke 
opium requires to be firmly checked. 

A second objection to prohibition, and even greater than 
the hardship and annoyance it would cause to the Chinese, 
was the great difficulty almost impossibility, it may be 
said of enforcing it. 

Opium is perhaps as easy, and in Burma as profitable, 


to smuggle as any article in the world. The Chinese are 
born smugglers. The poppy is largely cultivated in 
Yunnan and in the hilly country on the Salween. To 
prevent smuggling of opium overland into Burma would 
require a very large expenditure and a numerous establish- 
ment. The thousand miles of coast would be equally 
difficult to watch. If the growth of the poppy is prevented 
in China and India it may perhaps become practicable 
to stop opium from entering Burma. It was futile at that 
time and under those circumstances to attempt absolute 

The Indian Excise and Opium Acts were extended to 
Upper Burma in the latter half of 1888. The restrictions 
on the sale to Burmans of opium and intoxicants were 
maintained and neither excise licence nor opium-shop 
was allowed in any place where the non-Burman population 
was not considerable. Yunnan opium, which had hitherto 
come in free, was subjected to a duty. The result was a 
great increase in the price of opium in Upper Burma and 
at the same time energetic smuggling ; while it was 
believed, that so far as the restrictions against the sale 
of liquor or opium to Burmans were effectual, their efficacy 
was due, as in the King's time, more to the strength of 
the Buddhist religion than to the power of the British 
Government and the honesty of its magistrates. No 
further change was introduced while I was in Burma. 

An excitement, however, arose in England, and the 
societies who, belonging to one of the most intemperate 
races in the world, make it their vocation to preach tem- 
perance to the most abstemious and sober of nations, drove 
the Government of India to experiment on Burma. Since 
1893 one device after another has been tried to prevent 
Burmans from getting opium. The results appear to have 
been that contraband opium has been driven to some extent 
from the market ; that the consumption of Government 
opium which has paid duty has doubled; that hundreds 
of people are punished yearly, not a few on false charges, 
for offences against the Opium Act, many of them by 
imprisonment ; that the use of cocaine and other drugs 
worse than opium has been substituted for it, and in spite 
of the police is growing. 


The following passage from a very excellent and accurate 
handbook of Burma by Sir J. George Scott, K.C.I.E. 
(Alexander Moring, Ltd., 1906) is worth quoting as the 
opinion of a man who knows the country well : 

" In Kokang and the Wa States the out-turn (of opium) 
runs to tons. West of the Sal ween, Loimaw is the only 
place where opium is systematically grown for profit. The 
cultivators are all Chinamen, and the amount produced 
in the season reaches about four thousand pounds. The 
price ranges from twelve to fifteen rupees for three and 
a half pounds. No doubt a very great deal is smuggled 
into Burma by opium-roads tracks only passable by 
coolies, and not known to many. It is to be noted that 
there are no victims to opium in the opium- producing 
districts, any more than there are in Ssu-ch'uan, where 
the people are the wealthiest in China and half the crops 
are poppy. It is only in places where opium is prohibitive 
in price that there are victims to opium. If a man is 
accustomed to take opium, he must have it to soothe his 
nerves under excessive fatigue; if he lives in a malarious 
district, it is necessary to kill the bacteria. When such 
a man is poor and comes to a place where opium duty 
is high, he has to starve himself to get the anodyne for 
his muscles, quivering under the weight of loads which 
no white man could carry, or to soothe the racking fever 
in his bones. He dies of want and opium is denounced. 
Where opium is cheap, the people are healthy and stalwart 
and the women are fruitful. East of the Sal ween the 
universal opinion of opium is that of the Turk, who stamps 
on his opium lozenges Mash Alla'h, ' the gift of God.' 
Some of the Wa eat as well as smoke opium ; but, so 
far as is known, regular opium-eating is rare, and none 
of the races drink it in the form of an emulsion, like the 
Kusumba of the Eajputs. West of the Salween, the 
European cant about opium has penetrated. A Shan 
either tells deliberate lies or says he only smokes when 
he has fever. The Kumai is pious and hypocritical, and 
says his opium is intended for his ponies or for cases 
of malarial fever. There are, of course, cases of excess, 
but the opium victim is never the hideous spectacle of 
the man sodden with alcohol or the repulsive bestiality 


that the man becomes who takes food to excess " 
(pp. 268-69). 

The only laws that will preserve the Burmans from the 
evils of opium and alcohol and other drugs are the teach- 
ings of Buddha. So long as they preserve their vigour 
and command the Burmans' belief, there is not much 
fear. The danger is that Buddhism will be undermined 
by Western education and contact with Europe, before it 
can be replaced by a better and stronger faith. The 
number of young Burmans coming to England is in- 
creasing. Will they return as abstemious and as temperate 
as they came ? They will not : the danger to the Burman 
is probably more from alcohol than from opium, and more 
from contact with the West than with China.* 

This question, however, had no influence whatever on 
the work we were engaged in. I was able to reassure the 
Chinese and to make them feel that the Government 
desired to treat them with fairness and consideration. The 
Chinese in Burma behaved throughout these stormy years 
as loyal citizens. There were at first numerous reports of 
hostile gatherings on or near the Chinese frontier, especially 
in the north of Hsenwi and at Hpunkan, near Bhamo. 
They had little foundation in fact. The only case in which 
it is certain that an armed body of Chinese entered Burma 
was in January, 1889. A strong body of Chinamen, chiefty 
deserters from the Chinese army and outlaws, gathered on 
the Mole stream north-east of Bhamo. They were promptly 
attacked by the police and so severely handled that they 
were not heard of again. 

Still less influence on the restoration of order had the 
Kuby Mines affair, which excited the British public and 
enabled parliamentary busybodies to create an absurd 
fuss. The whole question of these mines and their adminis- 
tration might well have waited until we had pacified the 
country. Even as a source of revenue they were of no 
great moment, and if we had left the native miners alone 

* A summary of the measures taken in Burma is given in the report 
of "The Committee appointed by the Philippine Commission to in- 
vestigate the use of opium and the traffic therein," which deals with 
the evidence in a sane and judicial manner. (See " The Province of 
Burma," by Alleyne Ireland, F.E.G.S., vol. ii., p. 845 et seq.) 


we should have saved the heavy expense of maintaining a 
strong force up in the hills and making a long and costly 
cart-road from the river. Mogok, the headquarters of the 
mines, lies nearly six thousand feet above the sea-level, and 
is distant sixty miles by road from the river port of 
Thabeikkyin, most of it lying through thick jungle, poisoned 
with malaria and, in 1887, infested with dacoits. 

The mines were then worked by the Shans, who live on the 
spot and have hereditary rights. A proposal had been made 
by Sir Charles Bernard, and supported by the Government of 
India, to give a lease of the mines for three years to Messrs. 
Gillanders Arbuthnot, of Calcutta, at an annual rent of two 
lakhs of rupees, the equivalent then of about .14,000. 
This firm had been accustomed to trade in rubies with the 
Shans at Mogok. The proposal was judicious, and would 
have enabled the Government to learn the value of the 
mines before committing themselves for a longer term, 
as the firm's books were to be open to inspection. 

This proposal, however, did not meet the views of the 
gentlemen who had marked down the ruby mines as a field 
of speculation. A parliamentary intrigue was got up. 
Questions were asked jobs were hinted at. The enormous 
value of the mines the richest ruby mines in the world 
was talked about, until the British public began to see 
rubies and to suspect, I verily believe, Sir Charles Bernard 
and all of us, his official heirs and successors, of desiring to 
make dishonest fortunes. Some of the speculators went to 
Simla to persuade the Government of India that Gillanders 
Arbuthnot 's offer was inconceivably ridiculous. Then they 
came on to Rangoon with letters of introduction, not un- 
accompanied by hints and warnings to be careful, to sniff 
about the mines and get the ear of the authorities in Burma. 
The Secretary of State trembled lest he should be suspected 
of favouring somebody ; and if I had destroyed Mandalay 
or drained the Irrawaddy, I doubt if there would have been 
more disturbance than was caused by the grant to one of 
the prospectors of a few yards of worthless land at Mogok 
on which to erect a hut, and of an ordinary licence to mine. 

Eventually an expert was sent out to inspect and value 
the mines. The gentleman deputed to this duty was no 
doubt a skilled mineralogist, even if he was without previous 


experience in ruby mines. It is possible that his report 
was worth the cost. It was, I take it, a means of getting out 
of a parliamentary difficulty. It served the Secretary of 
State for India as an excuse for delay, and gave the appear- 
ance at least of a searching and impartial investigation. 

Late in 1889 a concession for seven years was granted to 
five lucky promoters; and then the course usual in such 
cases was followed. A company was floated in London 
under the auspices of a big financier. The success for the 
concessionaires was unexampled. The public, especially the 
small investors, in an enthusiasm of greed, tumbled over 
each other to secure shares. In November, 1889, the com- 
pany began to work. Its history since has not been one of 
remarkable prosperity either for the G-overnment or the 
shareholders. The terms have been revised several times. 
The receipts of ; the Government from the company in 
1903-4 were Es. 2,11,500, or 14,000. 

The history of this matter is interesting only as an 
example of the futility of interfering with the Government 
of India in local matters. To the administration of Burma 
it meant more writing, more labour, more anxiety, when 
attention was needed elsewhere. When a man's house is 
on fire he does not want to spend time in polishing the 
handle of his door. I was compelled to keep at Mogok 
better men and a stronger force than the district needed. 
For some years there was much disturbance in the neigh- 
bouring country. But it was unconnected with the mines. 

It is a defect in parliamentary government that so many 
members, avoiding the really important matters, fasten 
greedily on lesser questions, especially those which promise 
a scandal. As Parliament chose to look at this matter as 
one of imperial interest, the mines acquired an importance 
out of all proportion to their value. I found the ruby 
mines was a burning question, and I had to go there with- 
out delay. I left Mandalay on the 29th of March in a steamer 
for Kyannyat, which was then the river station for Bernard 
Myo and Mogok, with Mr. Herbert White and my private 
secretary. We rode the forty miles from the river to 
Sagadaung, the halting-place at the foot of the hills, taking 
as we went an escort of five mounted men (Gurkhas) from 
the military posts on the road, and stopped there for the 


night. From Sagadoung a mule-path (twenty miles) took 
us to Bernard Myo, where I halted, and next day rode into 

The regulations and conditions under which it was pro- 
posed to allow the mines to be worked were explained 
to the native mineowners and to the persons present on 
behalf of the applicants for the concession, and the way 
was cleared for a settlement. 

A matter of more importance, although not one in which 
Parliament was interested, was the dispute about Mongmit 
and Mohlaing (explained in Chapter XX.) . The Sawbwa of 
Mongmit and his ministers, as well as the claimant, Hkam 
Leng, had been summoned to attend me. The latter did 
not appear. He was one of the few irreconcilables Upper 
Burma produced. The investigation of the case satisfied 
me that he had no title to Mongmit, and I ordered him to 
be informed that his claim to that State was inadmissible, 
but that he would be recognised as chief of Mohlaing if he 
appeared and submitted. 

After a few days at Mogok I returned to the river, march- 
ing down by the Thabeikkyin road. We were obliged to 
go slowly, as it was thought necessary to take an escort of 
twenty-five Gurkhas. One Paw Kwe, the headman of a 
village on the road, the influential brigand in these parts 
and one of the most evil-looking rascals I ever met, accom- 
panied the Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Carter,* and was in 
a measure responsible that no mischief should befall us. 
In the hope of keeping him quiet I gave him a subsidy for 
carrying the mails. But he preferred unemployment and 
took again to the jungle after a time, and, I believe, became 
an irreconcilable. 

The leisurely march down gave time to take up some 
matters of importance that were waiting for me. 

In the forefront of pressing questions was the provision 
of a sufficient fleet of steam-launches. The delta of the 

* Mr. G. M. S. Carter had served in the Police Department in British 
Burma for eleven years and had made a reputation for ability and know- 
ledge of the people. In June, 1886, he was appointed to be an Assistant 
Commissioner and posted to Upper Burma. Mr. Carter was one of the 
best executive officers in the Commission, and his death in 1890 was a 
severe loss to the Government and a sorrow to all of us, his comrades 
and friends. 


Irrawaddy, where the population is most dense and most 
wealthy, is a country of rivers and creeks, where most 
of the transport is by boats. In the rice-harvest season 
the waterways are much used by the Burman craft 
carrying rice to the mills at Eangoon or Bassein, or 
making their way homeward with the money for which 
it has been sold. 

The waterways needed to be patrolled. The disorders 
following the annexation extended to the creeks and rivers, 
and river pirates had become more daring and the neces- 
sity of a well-formed service of river police more urgent. 
Lower Burma was not well provided in this matter; and 
being unable to obtain funds, the administration was driven 
to apply local funds intended for roads to the purchase 
of launches. 

In the Upper Province the want of suitable boats was 
even greater. There were some six hundred miles of water- 
way to be served. The rivers were the main lines of 
communication, and on the banks were placed in most 
cases the headquarters of districts, the military stations and 
outposts, and most of the larger villages and busier markets. 
At first, until I had time to revise administrative bound- 
aries, several districts included land on both banks. In- 
surgents and dacoits had no difficulty in obtaining boats 
for the purposes of attacking river craft or waterside 
villages, or of escaping from pursuit. Once or twice we 
were compelled to put an embargo on the boats to hinder 
the enemy from getting across, but it was impossible to 
interfere thus with the river life of the province, except 
under great necessity and for a very short time. 

To meet the demands of the soldiers, the police, and the 
district officers, and, before the telegraph service was 
complete, to keep up communication between stations and 
outposts, many boats were required. It was also necessary 
to have the means of moving small bodies of troops up 
and down or across the river without delay as the need 
might arise. 

I had little difficulty in showing the need for a better 
fleet. But the Government of India were startled at my 
demands. The Director of Indian Marine, Captain John 
Hext, E.N. (now Kear-Admiral Sir John Hext, K.C I.E.), 


was sent down to persuade me to reduce the size and cost 
of my navy. He was successful, and might perhaps succeed 
in persuading the Emperor of Germany to limit his naval 
armaments. He had designed an excellent type of river 
boat, a very light-draught paddle-wheeler, with simple 
machinery and fair speed, with accommodation for half 
a company of rifles and a couple of officers. They were 
built under his instructions in the Government dockyard at 
Kidderpore. Being his own creation, he named them the 
X type. In Burma they were called after every type of 
robber known to the country. It was agreed that I was 
to have nine of these boats and four smaller craft. I had 
asked for twenty-three boats, and looking back, I am 
surprised at my moderation. At the present time, after 
twenty years of peace and freedom from organized crime, 
I believe the Burma Government has a fleet four times 
as large as that with which I had to be content. But then 
I was, as it were, a pioneer. 

I was back in Mandalay on the 10th of April. There 
were some gleams of light between the clouds. Baw or 
Maw, a small Shan State on the Kyaukse border, had been 
brought to reason by General East without fighting : the 
Kale Sawbwa on the Chindwin had completed the payment 
of his tribute : Hla U, the most noted leader in the Sagaing 
district, had been killed by his own men, who were sick 
of the life. 

On the other side of the account, Sinbyugyun, a post 
north of Salin in the Minbu district, held by a military gar- 
rison of fifty men, had been attacked twice and partially 
burnt. The news from the Northern Shan States was some- 
what disquieting. A desultory warfare was going on in 
Hsenwi between the hereditary chief of the State, who had 
allied himself with the pretender, Saw Yan Naing, and San 
Ton Hon, the usurper in possession of Northern Hsenwi, 
supported by the Sawbwa of Hsipaw. It was reported that 
San Ton Hon was being driven back, and it was feared that 
the Hsipaw chief, who was our only assured friend in the 
Shan States, might suffer a repulse. It seemed at one time 
that it might become necessary to send an officer to Hsipaw 
with a small force. I was unwilling to take this step. I 
wished to leave the Northern Shan States alone until the 



next open season, and then to deal with the settlement of 
the States as a whole. The rains, moreover, were now near 
at hand, and Sir George White disliked moving troops into 
the hills if it could be avoided. I held a party of mili- 
tary police ready, and had obtained the Viceroy's consent 
to act, if it should be necessary. Meanwhile arms and 
ammunition were sent up to Hsipaw, and the Sawbwa, 
who was not more incapable or half-hearted than his 
opponents, contrived to hold his own until the next open 

The military police were arriving now, and were being 
distributed and sent to their various destinations. 

I could do little more by remaining in Mandalay. The 
most urgent matters in connection with the police were 
the definition of their duties and of their relations with the 
civil officers, their housing, rationing, and medical treat- 
ment. Until, as I stated before, these matters had been 
discussed and settled with the new Inspector-General of 
Police, little progress could be made in relieving the soldiers 
from occupying the small posts. 

General Stedman was expected to arrive in Rangoon 
about the middle of May, and it was convenient that he 
should meet me there. 

Another matter which called me to Eangoon was the 
condition of Lower Burma. Shortly before I took charge 
the Government of India had called the Chief Commis- 
sioner's attention to the state of the province, " the constant 
occurrence of petty dacoities (gang robberies), the apparent 
want of concerted and energetic action in dealing with 
them which," they wrote, "have attracted the serious 
notice of the Governor-General in Council. His Excellency 
trusts that the subject may receive your immediate and 
active intervention." 

The condition of the province was bad from a police point 
of view. The people had enjoyed excellent harvests and 
good prices. Yet there was a constant recurrence of crime, 
and the police quite failed to cope with it. The excitement 
of the last year or two had been too much for the younger 
Burmans. They could not settle down again, and the 
spirit of loot and adventure rather than any real patriotism 
led to numerous gang robberies, and sometimes to foolish 


outbreaks, of which men from Upper Burma were some- 
times the instigators. 

Even within a short distance of Kangoon an Upper 
Burman, related, it was said, to the Minbu leader, Oktama, 
raised the Golden Umbrella and called for followers. Some 
hundreds obeyed the call, but at the first sight of the police 
they began to disperse. A party of Karens, led by a British 
police officer, came up with some of them, killed and 
wounded several, captured others, and made an end of 
the rising. 

The Karens in Lower Burma were loyal and generally 
staunch, especially the Christian Karens. The American 
Baptist missionaries have done an inestimable service to 
the Karen race. They understand thoroughly how to 
educate in the true sense of the word a tribe that has 
been despised and trodden down for some generations. The 
missionary has made himself not only the pastor but also 
the chief of his people, and in those troubled times he 
organized them under their catechists, taught them dis- 
cipline and obedience, and made them useful and orderly 
members of society, industrious, self-respecting, and inde- 
pendent. The Government of Burma owes a debt to the 
American Baptist Mission which should not be forgotten. 

On receipt of this letter from the Government of India, 
reports from Commissioners and from the head of the 
police had been called for. Their answers were now before 
me. The Inspector-General of Police in Lower Burma 
was the late Mr. Jameson, an officer of ability and long ex- 
perience. He frankly admitted that the police administra- 
tion had failed in suppressing organized brigandage. " So 
far," he wrote, " from the crime of dacoity having been 
eradicated by British administration, each year more 
dacoities are committed than in the one preceding." He 
attributed this failure to defects in the judicial courts, 
especially the Court of Revision and Appeal, which 
resulted in making punishment very uncertain and sentences 
capricious ; to the absence of any law establishing a village 
organization and responsibility ; and to the number of arms 
in the hands of the peasantry, who received them for their 
self-defence against dacoits, but gave them or lost them to 
the robbers, The result was, Mr. Jameson asserted, that 


after thirty-five years of British rule the country " was in a 
more disturbed state than after the second war." 

There is no doubt that the judicial administration in 
Lower Burma was defective. The Judicial Commissioner 
who presided over the Chief Appellate and Kevising Court 
for the interior of the province was selected by the Govern- 
ment of India from the members of the Indian Civil Service 
of one of the Indian provinces, and seldom stayed long in 
Burma. It is no libel on the distinguished men who have 
held this position to say that as a rule they had no know- 
ledge of the language or customs of the people or of the 
conditions of Burma. They came from some quiet province 
of India, and were unable at first to appreciate those condi- 
tions. One of them might think the sentences awarded 
by the magistrates too severe; his successor might pro- 
nounce them to be too lenient. 

There was a tendency to forget that an act for example, 
shooting a thief or burglar at sight which in a quiet and 
settled country may be a crime, may be excusable in a state 
of society where plunder and murder by armed robbers are 
everyday occurrences. 

Much mischief may be and was done by well-intentioned 
but inept judicial action ; neither the police nor the people 
knew how far they might go in defending themselves or in 
effecting the capture of criminals, and circulars were issued 
explaining the law which would have puzzled the Chief 
Justice. A Burman peasant before he fired his gun had to 
consider whether all the conditions justified him ; and a 
frontier guard had to pause with his finger on the trigger 
while he recalled the words of the last circular on the use 
of firearms. The result was that the police and the people 
were nervous and demoralized. It was better to let the 
dacoit pass or to run away than to run the risk of a trial for 

This may seem exaggeration. On one occasion when 
the prisoners in a central gaol mutinied, the armed guard 
stood idle, until at last, when the convicts were breaking 
out, one of the guards took his courage in both hands and 
fired. The riot was checked. I wished to reward the man, 
but the superintendent of the gaol reported that he could 
not discover who had fired the shot. The warders said 


they did not doubt the Chief Commissioner's power to 
reward them, but they knew the Judicial Commissioner 
would hang the man who fired the gun. 

The freedom with which licences to possess firearms had 
been granted in Lower Burma was no doubt responsible for 
the facility with which the bad characters could arm them- 
selves. Every day's experience proved that to arm the 
villagers was to arm the dacoits. Burmans are incredibly 
careless. Even the Burman constables, who were to some 
extent trained and disciplined, constantly allowed their guns 
to be taken. A half-hearted measure had been in force in 
Lower Burma, which required that a village must have 
at least five guns, as it was thought that with that number 
they could defend themselves. Like most half-measures, 
it was of no use. 

The absence of a village organization and of the means 
of enforcing village responsibility was no doubt a very great 
obstacle in the way of the police, even if the police had 
been good. But when everything had been said it came 
to this, that the police were bad and police administration 
in a hopeless muddle. 

The Burmans have, from the first day that British 
officers have tried to discipline them, shown a great want 
of responsibility and incurable slackness and little sense 
of duty. They cannot be trusted to keep watch and ward, 
to guard or escort prisoners or treasure, or even to remain 
on duty if they are posted as sentries. The discipline of 
Frederick the Great might have improved them. But he 
would have shot most of his men before he had made 
trustworthy soldiers of the few that remained. 

Hence it came to pass that Indians were enlisted to 
perform the duties which the Burmans seemed unable 
to fulfil. A few Indians were posted to every station for 
these purposes, and the Burmans were employed mainly 
on detection and investigation and reporting. This system 
led to still further deterioration of the Burman constable, 
who ceased to rely on his own courage or resources. 

The Indians, again, were recruited locally. The police 
officers who recruited them had no experience of the Indian 
races and did not know one caste from another. The most 
unfit men were taken. They were not much looked after, 


and their officers did not know the Indian languages or 
understand their customs. 

When the risings took place in Shwegyin and elsewhere 
after the annexation, the Burma police showed themselves 
to be absolutely untrustworthy. More Indians were en- 
rolled and the mischief increased. The Burman knew he 
had behaved badly and was not trusted, and became more 
untrustworthy, while the Indians were not under proper 
discipline, scattered about as they were in small parties, 
and were in any case quite useless for detective or ordinary 
police purposes. The only exception to this condemnation 
of the indigenous police that could be made was, I think, 
the armed frontier guard in the Thayetmyo district, who 
were stationed and housed with their families on the 
frontier of British Burma. 

It was clear that the working of the police force in 
Lower Burma required thorough investigation, and that 
its constitution would have to be recast. As necessary 
subsidiary measures, the country would have to be 
thoroughly disarmed, and above all a village organization 
must be created and the joint responsibility of the village 
for certain crimes enforced. 

A committee was appointed to consider the best method 
of reforming the civil police force of Lower Burma. I took 
in hand the question of thoroughly disarming the whole 
province, and a bill dealing with Lower Burma villages on 
the lines of the Upper Burma village regulation was framed. 

These matters would take some time. The Indian police, 
however, could be improved at once. It was decided to 
remove all Indians from the civil police, and to enroll them 
in a regiment under a military commandant, similar to one 
of the Upper Burma military police battalions in formation 
and discipline. Their headquarters were to be at Eangoon, 
and the men needed for other districts were to be sent 
from Rangoon and treated as detachments of the regiment. 
They were to be enrolled for three years under a Military 
Police Act, which was passed in 1887. Pending the report 
of the Committee and the measures that might be taken 
on their advice, it was necessary to act at once in the most 
disordered parts of the province. Especially in portions of 
the Shwegyin district in Tharawaddy, and in the northern 


townships of Thayetmyo the dacoit gangs were strong and 
active. The ordinary district staff seemed helpless and 
unable to make head against the brigands, to whose 
exactions the peasants had become accustomed. They 
found it easier to make terms with the criminals than to 
help a government that was unable to protect them. 

I adopted the plan of selecting a young officer known 
for his activity and character, and placing him in charge 
of the disturbed tract, giving him a sufficient police force 
and magisterial powers, and making him independent of 
the Deputy Commissioner of the district, who continued 
to conduct the ordinary administration. This special officer 
had no other duty than to hunt down and punish the gangs 
of outlaws. He was to be always out and always on their 
tracks, using every means in his power to make friends 
with the villagers and induce them to give him information 
and help against the common enemy. 

This policy succeeded, and the disturbed districts were 
brought into line. The late Mr. Henry Todd Naylor,* of the 
Indian Civil Service, distinguished himself especially in this 
work, and won a well-merited decoration from the Viceroy. 

I had made up my mind to dispense with the services of 
the Special Commissioner for Lower Burma as soon as 
possible. The appointment was undoubtedly necessary at 
first, when communications were bad, but as the province 
settled down the need was less and the saving of labour to 
me very little. The responsibility remained with me. I 
was bound to know everything that went on, and in such 
matters as the condition of the province the Government 
of India expected me to intervene personally. 

The work and exposure since the annexation were begin- 
ning to tell on the members of the Commission, especially 
on those who had sustained the heaviest burdens of responsi- 
bility and had been most exposed to the climate, and I was 
hard pressed for men to fill the places of those who wanted 
leave.! An accident happening to the Commissioner of 

' Mr. Todd Taylor, C.S.I., C.I.E., died last year, after acting as 
Financial Commissioner of Burma. 

f Amongst others, Mr. Burgess, Mr. Fryer, Mr. Symes, and Mr. Carter 
were asking for leave. Of these only Mr. Fryer (Sir Frederic Fryer, 
K.C.S.I.) is alive. The others are dead many years. 


Tennasserim, I decided to send Mr. Hodgkinson there and 
to take the Lower Burma work into my own hands. 

An increase to the Secretariat had been sanctioned in 
April, 1887. This enabled me to save a man by appoint- 
ing Mr. Smeaton (the late Donald Mackenzie Smeaton,* 
C.S.I., M.P.), to the newly created post of Chief Secretary. 
He had served for some years in Burma, with distinction, 
under Sir Charles Aitchison and Sir Charles Bernard. 

In a short time the Secretariats were united in Rangoon 
and the work distributed into the ordinary departments of 
Indian administration without reference to territorial division. 

On the arrival of General Stedman in the middle of May 
(1887), the Upper Burma military police questions were 
brought under discussion. The men, as I have said before, 
were coming in fast. The sanctioned strength at this time 
was fifteen thousand five hundred men. It was necessary to 
determine the constitution of the force, its relation to the 
Deputy Commissioners of districts, and the methods by which 
it was to be rationed and kept supplied with necessaries. 

These matters had been thought out before General Sted- 
man's arrival. They were now discussed with him in detail, 
and the general lines to be followed were laid down. Briefly, 
the following constitution was adopted : 

The keynote of Indian administration was, and I believe 
still is, that the District Magistrate or Deputy Commis- 
sioner, or by whatever name he may be called, is the 
executive representative of the Government, and is respon- 
sible for all matters in his district subject to the control of 
the Commissioner of the division. He is especially respon- 
sible for the peace of his district, and therefore the allocation 
of the police force rests primarily with him. It was laid 
down for the guidance of Deputy Commissioners that the 
most important and central posts should be occupied by 
fairly strong bodies of military police, to which should be 
attached a few Burman constables, some of whom were to 
be mounted, who were to collect information, receive reports, 
and investigate cases. Between the military police posts, and 
helping to link them up, were to be civil police stations 
manned by Burmans exclusively, who were to be locally 

* Mr. Smeaton was at this time serving in the North-Western (now 
United) Provinces of India. 


recruited. A constant and systematic patrol was to be 
maintained between the military police posts. The posts 
were to be fortified and capable of defence by the garrison 
remaining after the despatch of a patrol. It was laid down 
as a fixed law that the reserve at headquarters must be 
sufficient to provide a reasonably strong movable column 
ready to reinforce any part of the district that might 
need it. 

The police force was divided into battalions, one to each 
district, of a strength varying with the size and wants of 
the district. To each battalion was appointed a com- 
mandant, to all except a few very small battalions a 
second-in-command, and to some more than one. These 
officers were all selected from the Indian Army, and, 
with very rare exceptions, were capable men. The interior 
economy, the training, and the discipline of the men were 
left to the commandants under the Inspector-General's 
orders. With these matters the civil officials could not in 
any way interfere. 

It was found necessary from the first to restrain firmly 
the tendency of the local officials to fritter away the strength 
of the force in small posts. The moment anything occurred 
they wanted to clap down a post on the disturbed spot ; and 
if this had been allowed to go on unchecked there would 
not have been a man left to form a movable column or even 
to send out a patrol of sufficient strength. 

The number of men to be kept at headquarters, the mini- 
mum strength of a post, and the minimum number of a 
patrol had to be absolutely laid down by the Chief Com- 
missioner's order. At first the strength prescribed was too 
small. After some experience, the lowest post garrison was 
fixed at forty rifles, the minimum strength of a patrol at ten 
rifles ; and these orders were stringently enforced. 

It was resolved to mount a certain number of the force, 
and as soon as the ponies could be obtained which was not 
an easy matter, as the mounted infantry and the army trans- 
port took up very many about 10 per cent, of the men were 

Many of the military police who arrived in Burma in 1887 
were newly raised and insufficiently trained levies, and until 
the men had been drilled and taught to use their weapons 


it was impossible to do much towards relieving the soldiers 
from the outposts. The rainy season was occupied in the 
work of instruction. The task was performed under very 
difficult conditions, for the men were often called away to 
occupy posts and take part in active operations, and the 
officers were few. "The duty was well done, and by the end 
of the autumn of 1887 we were in possession of an army, 
which proved itself to be a most serviceable instrument for 
reducing the country to order. The men, whether in the 
field or in their lines, behaved exceedingly well. 

Hardly less important than the constitution of the force 
was its maintenance in a state of contentment and efficiency. 
At the beginning of 1887 the number of military police 
landed in Burma was between five and six thousand, and 
as the year advanced the force was fast increasing. As the 
men arrived they were rapidly distributed to the districts of 
Upper Burma, and when trained were destined to relieve 
the troops in distant outposts. 

It was necessary to make immediate arrangements for 
their rations and for renewing their clothing, equipment, 
and ammunition ; and also for the medical treatment of 
the men. The principal medical officer of the field force 
kindly undertook to organize the medical service, and 
Captain Davis was engaged in working out the details. 

Captain S. C. F. Peile, who, in 1885, had accompanied the 
Bengal Brigade of the field force as executive commissariat 
officer, had been selected to organize the supply business of 
the police force. He was ready to commence work early in 
April. The rains in Burma begin in May. Large numbers 
of the police were stationed in the Eastern Division, where 
cart traffic would soon become impossible, and also in the 
Ruby Mines and other districts, which would soon be cut off 

I had found at several places that the military police at 
outposts were not properly rationed and depended on the 
military commissariat, which might at any time be moved 

The question arose as to the best method of supplying 
our men. One of the conditions under which they had taken 
service was that they should, as in the army, get money com- 
pensation for dearness of provisions at a rate varying with 


the price of flour. The men of the Indian army, when not 
on active service, ration themselves, and are paid on this 
principle. But this system presupposes that the necessary 
provisions are procurable in the local markets. 

The Burman markets afford everything that a Burman 
needs Burman caviare, a dainty that one has to be brought 
up to ; tinned milk, biscuits, sardines, and other delicacies ; 
but wheat flour, ghi (clarified butter), and various pulses 
are not to be had. It is on such things that the fighting 
man from Northern India lives. 

After discussing the question carefully with Captain 
Peile, it was determined, with the consent of the men, to 
give no compensation and to serve out rations to all at a 
fixed monthly charge. The Central Direction undertook to 
deliver sufficient supplies at the headquarters of each 
battalion. The distribution to the outposts was to be 
managed by the battalion officers with the battalion trans- 

I was able to say at the end of the year that the Supply 
Department had worked well, and that without its aid the 
organization of the military police could not have been 
effected. The system has stood the trial of more than 
twenty years, and it is doubtful whether any cheaper or 
better system could have been devised for the supply of a 
large force in similar circumstances. 

The same establishment under Captain Peile provided for 
the supply and renewal of clothing, arms, and ammunition. 

These matters and the work connected with the many 
parts of the administrative machine of the province gave me 
ample occupation in Kangoon for some weeks. 


IT was about this time (May, 1887) that the news of the 
surrender of the Limbin prince to Mr. Hildebrand, and 
the submission of the influential Sawbwa of Mongnai 
came to remove some of our anxieties. Lord Dufferin tele- 
graphed his congratulations to me : " These circumstances," 
he said, " greatly clear the air." They proved in effect that 
we need not apprehend any very serious opposition in the 
Shan States, and that there was no risk in holding that 
country with a small force during the rains, on which point 
there were apprehensions in some quarters. 

Good news came also from Upper Burma. A noted gang, 
led by men of more force than the ordinary leaders of 
dacoits possessed, had surrendered to Major Ilderton, who 
commanded a post at Wundwin, in the Meiktila district. 
The gang was known by the name of the place, Hmaw- 
waing, where it made its retreat, and it had sustained 
several severe attacks before the leaders gave in, of whom 
two had been village headmen and the third had been a 
Government servant under the King. The three had long 
worked together; and before the annexation they had 
dominated the northern part of Meiktila. They were 
pardoned, and provision made for their support. Two of 
them absconded. They soon found, however, that their 
influence was gone. The country was weary of them. One 
(Maung Kala) died of fever ; a second (Myat Hmon) gave 
himself up again. The third (Maung Ohn), the most 
educated and best bred of them, had remained quiet. 

It was now necessary for me to return to Upper Burma, 
but I had not yet met Mr. Tucker, the Commissioner of the 
Eastern Division. As the rains were beginning, and the 
extension of the railway beyond Toungoo had not been 
opened, I asked Mr. Tucker to meet me at Toungoo. I could 



not spare time to march up to his headquarters. The 
chief engineer of the Mandalay Railway, Mr. Buyers, was 
pushing on the line as fast as he could. He had many 
difficulties to contend with. The Burmans, although coming 
readily to the work, were new to it. The working parties 
had to be protected ; the heavy forest in some divisions of 
the line had to be cleared. I had seen Mr. Buyers and 
satisfied myself that work was going on well. 

I met Mr. Tucker, and received from him a fairly satis- 
factory account of his division. Meiktila and Yamethin 
were almost quiet. Pyinmana was a difficult tract to reduce 
to order. It is described in the Burma Gazetteer as ''one 
large forest with the exception of the immediate surround- 
ings of Pyinmana town and small patches of cultivation 
near the villages and streams." The station had been for 
some months almost besieged by dacoits, who took cover 
close to our lines. So much so that the postmaster, who 
came from a peaceful district, put up a notice closing 
the post-office as " urgent private affairs " compelled him 
to leave. It needed a good deal of peaceful persuasion to 
induce him to remain at his work. 

In April, May, and June the troops of Sir William Lock- 
hart's command, aided to some extent by the police, were 
very active. The forests and all the hiding-places were 
thoroughly explored and for the time at least cleared of 
dacoits. Meanwhile the civil officers, under the energetic 
direction of Mr. H. St. G. Tucker, vigorously disarmed the 
district, making full use of the men of local influence. By 
the middle of June, when Mr. Tucker met me, only small 
bands were left, who were forced to conceal themselves, 
and there was little trouble afterwards in this district. But 
the difficult country of the Pegu Yoma between Pyinmana 
and the Magwe district of the Southern Division continued 
to harbour dacoits until 1890. 

I returned to Rangoon from Toungoo and left for Upper 
Burma on the 10th of June. Going by the river, I stopped 
at all the towns on the way up, seeing the officers, inspecting 
every part of the administration, and discussing affairs. 

In Lower Burma the towns and villages showed their 
wonted comfort and prosperity, the boats were as numerous 
as ever, and the rice and other produce was waiting in 


abundance at the landing-places for the steamers. The 
disturbances had had little effect on trade. 

The country inland to the west of the river was still 
harassed by predatory gangs in the wilder parts, and the 
police did not appear able to suppress them. 

There was no need, however, for the aid of the soldiers. 
I was able to reduce the number of outposts occupied by 
troops, and I would have reduced them still more, but that 
the General Commanding in Lower Burma was unable to 
provide barrack-room for the men occupying them. It 
was clearly time to take up the question of reducing the 
garrison of Lower Burma. 

It was not a good thing to accustom the civil officers, the 
police, or the people to depend on detachments of troops 
scattered over the country, and it certainly was not good 
for the discipline and efficiency of the men. The conduct 
of the soldiers, however, was excellent, and the people 
welcomed them. I found a general unwillingness to lose 
the sense of security which their presence gave ; and 
possibly also the profits of dealings with them. The Indian 
soldiers and the Burmans were on excellent terms. Even 
where the men were quartered in the monasteries the 
Pongyis did not want them to leave.* 

At Thayetmyo the region of dacoit gangs and disturb- 
ances was reached. The main trouble appeared to be in 
what may be termed Bo Swe's country, which lay on 
the right bank of the river, reaching from the old British 
Burma boundary to a line going westward with a slight 
southerly curve from Minhla to the Arakan mountains. 
Part of the trouble I thought arose from the fact that 
the jurisdiction of the Lower Burma command had been 
extended so as to cover this country, while the civil juris- 
diction belonged to the Minbu district of Upper Burma. 
This impeded free communication between the civil and 
military authorities. I transferred the tract to Thayetmyo, 
made it a subdivision of that district, and put a young and 

* The same is true of the British soldier, of whom in war or peace his 
countrymen cannot be proud enough. When, after the barracks were 
built at Mandalay, a regiment (the Royal Munster Fusiliers) was ordered 
to leave a great group of monasteries, the abbots and chief Pongyis 
came to me with a petition to let the soldiers remain where they were. 


energetic officer in charge. The tract across the river was 
similarly treated. 

I was now in Upper Burma again. Minbu on both sides 
of the river (it extended to both banks at this time) was very 
disturbed. Oktama's power was not broken. Villages were 
attacked and burnt, and friendly headmen were murdered. 

Pagan, the next district, was not much better ; and 
divided as it was by the river, and containing the trouble- 
some Yaw tract, the civil authorities were somewhat handi- 
capped. From Pagan I crossed over to Pakokku, even then 
a fine trading town and the centre, as it still is, of the 
boat-building industry. The town in 1887 had a population 
of about 5,000, which had increased in 1901 to 19,000. It 
was well laid out with handsome avenues of tamarind-trees. 
Standing on good sandy soil and well drained, it was a fine 
site for the headquarters of a district. 

The town and its neighbourhood had been skilfully 
governed by a lady, the widow of the old Governor, who had 
died thirty years before. Her son, a very fat and apparently 
stupid youth, was titular town-mayor (Myo-thugyi) ; but 
because he was suspected of playing false, through fear of 
the insurgents, he had been superseded, and a stranger 
from Lower Burma appointed as magistrate. 

The wisdom of importing men from Lower Burma was 
always, to my mind, doubtful, and in this case was peculiarly 
open to objection, as it was a slight to the widow, who was 
undoubtedly an able woman, and had joined the British 
cause from the first. 

It was said that in 1885 she was ordered by the King's 
Government to block the channel by sinking boats, of which 
there were always plenty at Pakokku ; she let all the Upper 
Burma craft go for a consideration, of course and sunk 
some boats which belonged to British Burma. She was 
alleged to have made a thousand pounds by this transaction, 
which is very characteristic of the East. 

I called on this old lady and had some conversation with 
her, and I would gladly have seen more of her, as she 
appeared to be a woman of some power. It was arranged 
to remove the Lower Burman magistrate and to send an 
English Assistant Commissioner, who would work through 
the hereditary Governor and his mother. 


At Myingyan, the next station, I found the best of my 
officers was Captain Hastings,* the commandant of the mili- 
tary police, who was fast making his men into a very fine 
battalion, with which before long he did excellent service. 
I waited at Myingyan to see General Sir Robert Low, who 
had been at Mandalay. He was satisfied about the progress 
in his district, except in the country about Salin, Oktama's 
country, and in Taundwingyi, which he said was full of 
dacoits, and would probably be their last abiding-place. 

It was a true prophecy, as I learnt to my sorrow. Partly 
owing to the very difficult country on its east border, and 
partly, perhaps even more, to the incompetence and weak- 
ness of the local officers, this district became my shame 
and despair. But at this time I had not been over the 
Taundwingyi country. 

My next halt was at Myinmu, the headquarters of a 
subdivision of the Sagaing district, on the right bank, about 
thirty miles below Sagaing. Mr. Macnabb, a young soldier 
who had lately joined the Commission, was there as sub- 
divisional officer. His report was not very satisfactory. 
Myinmu, for some reason or other, was especially obnoxious 
to the insurgents and was repeatedly attacked. Even quite 
recently there has been some trouble at Myinmu, although 
it is now a station on the railway which goes from Sagaing 
to the Chindwin. 

Ava, which is a little further up on the opposite side of 
the river, was at that time a separate district. But except 
that it was the old capital of Burma, and was a favourite 
ground for dacoits, there was no reason for keeping a 
Deputy Commissioner there, and little ordinary work for 
him. It was soon to be added to the Sagaing district, to 
which it still belongs. There were no troops at this time 
at Ava ; the Indian military police were good. 

I found the experiment of training Burmans as military 
police still going on in Ava. It will be remembered that the 
first idea was to recruit half the force from the Burmans 
and other local races. The commandant called my atten- 
tion to the gross waste of money that was involved in this 

* Now Major-General Edward Spence Hastings, C.B., D.S.O., Com- 
manding the Mandalay Brigade. The Myingyan Battalion was in 1892 
formed into the 4th Burma Battalion under its old commandant. 


experiment. The Burnian officers were hopelessly unfit. 
One had been imported from Lower Burma ; the other was 
a half-caste, a poor specimen of his kind in every way. 
They were disbanded as soon as possible. 

The dacoits hung about the country under the Ava 
Deputy Commissioner for a long time. His jurisdiction did 
not extend over more than three hundred and fifty square 
miles, but it was harried by three noted guerilla leaders 
Shwe Yan, who occupied the country on the borders of the 
Kyaukse and Ava districts ; Bo Tok, who frequented the 
borders of Ava and Myingyan; and the third, Shwe Yan 
the second, who ravaged the south-west part of the district. 
The two last were killed by British troops. The first and 
the most formidable of the three was reported to have 

It may be mentioned here, as illustrating the persistence 
of the insurgents and the apparently endless nature of the 
task, which demanded all our patience and perseverance, 
that in the spring of 1888 Ava was as bad as ever. There 
were nineteen well-known leaders " named varieties," 
as a gardener might call them who, in the words of the 
official report, '* held the countryside in terror." Early in 
May, Shwe Yan, whose disappearance had been reported, was 
again on foot with a strong body of followers. A force of 
troops and police which encountered him lost two British 

From Ava I went over to Sagaing and inspected the 
station and the police, and crossed to Mandalay the same 
day. Sir George White met me on landing, and I rode up 
with him to my quarters on the wall. 

This journey had occupied me eighteen days. I left 
Kangoon on the 10th of June, and reached Mandalay on 
the 28th. But the time had been well spent in gaining 
information and in making or renewing acquaintance with 
the district officers. I had inspected all stations on the 
way, and had been able to dispose of many questions on 
the spot. When I was not on shore, the office work and 
correspondence kept me busy. My secretary and I had to 
write on the skylight of the boat, as there was no accom- 
modation of any kind except a few dressing-rooms below, 
which in that climate and at that season were suffocating. 



VTOTHING has been said as yet about roads and com- 
-LM munications, the most powerful of all aids in pacifying 
a disturbed country. The plains of India in most provinces 
lend themselves to military operations, and for the greater 
part of the year an army can move about at will. In 
Burma the long and heavy rains, the numerous streams, 
and the extensive and dense forests and jungles, make 
campaigning very difficult. The country, in Sir George 
White's words, quoted before, " is one huge military 

Sir Charles Bernard had not lost sight of this part of 
his work. With the [aid of Mr. Eichard, of the Public 
Works Department, a most able superintending engineer, 
as much as possible had been done. No time had been 

In Mandalay itself, in 1886, fifteen miles of road had been 
re-formed, the bridges renewed and metal consolidated, and 
in the country generally more than two hundred miles of 
roads had been taken in hand and partially finished. Tracks 
one hundred feet in width had been cleared of forest and 
jungle between many of the military posts, a work in which 
the military officers took a large part. As our occupation 
of the country became closer, more roads and more tracks 
were called for. These forest tracks can hardly be called 
engineering works, but they were of first importance for 
the free movement of troops. The time during which road- 
making can be carried on is short in Burma, owing to 
the great rainfall. The dry zone in the centre of the 
province, where the climate is no impediment, is precisely 
the country where roads are least necessary. 


Eastern Governments as a rule trouble themselves very 
little about roads and public buildings of a useful kind. 
In Burma there were pagodas and monasteries innumerable. 
But roads and prosaic buildings, such as court-houses and 
jails, received little attention. Such a thing as a trunk road 
did not exist. 

Controlling the engineering establishment in Lower 
Burma there was a chief engineer, who was also Public 
Works secretary. His hands were full. To ask him to 
supervise the work in the new province as well was to 
lay on him an impossible task and to ensure the 
waste of much money. A chief engineer for Upper 
Burma was appointed at my request, and Major Gracey, 
R.E., who was selected for the post, had arrived in 
Burma. I have met with few men who had more power 
of work and of getting their subordinates to work, or who 
took greater care of the public money, than Major Gracey. 

On his arrival, in consultation with Colonel Gumming, 
the expenditure was examined and the whole situation 
discussed in Rangoon, and afterwards both officers met me 
in Mandalay. There was much difficulty in obtaining a 
sufficient number of engineers and a competent engineering 
establishment. The Indian Public Works service in the 
higher grades is recruited in England, and the subordinates 
are appointed in India. Service in Burma was for 
many reasons unpopular with men trained in India. 
The other provinces were not anxious to part with 
their best men. Hence the men who came to Burma 
were frequently unwilling and sometimes not very 

The difficulty was to apportion the existing establishment 
as fairly as possible between the two provinces, so as to 
give Major Gracey a fair number of men with Burman 

With Major Gracey's help everything went on well, and 
as fast as possible. A list of the work done in 1887 
would fill a page. The grant for military works in that 
year was 317,500. Permanent barracks at Mandalay and 
Bhamo, and a great number of temporary buildings to 
accommodate troops, were erected all over Burma in the 
first year of Major Gracey's tenure. Many of the temporary 


buildings were put up by military and civil officers ; but 
after a time, all military buildings were carried out by 
the Public Works Department. 

The Civil Works grant was nearly 350,000. 

The provinces had no court-houses, no jails, no places 
of detention at the police stations, and no barracks or 
accommodation for the military police. Two larger jails, 
one at Mandalay for eight hundred prisoners and one at 
Myingyan for one thousand, although not yet completed, 
were already occupied. Of three smaller prisons at Mony- 
wa, Pagan, and Minbu, one was finished and two partially, 
but enough to be of use. At ten stations small lock-ups 
were being built for persons arrested by the police. The 
jails and lock-ups were pressed on, because the existing 
arrangements for confining prisoners inherited from the 
Burmese Government were insufferable, and in some cases 

Provision had to be made for housing some thousands of 
military police. At the headquarters of eighteen districts 
accommodation had to be provided for about half a 
battalion, with hospitals, guard-rooms, magazines, and cook- 
houses. These buildings, especially the hospitals with 
accommodation for 8 per cent, of the strength, were con- 
structed of good permanent material. The barracks, officers' 
quarters, stables, and the like were built in the cheapest 
way consistent with comfort and health. The condition 
of the country in a year or two would permit, it was 
expected, of a reduction of the military police force, or at 
least of a change in its disposition ; the barrack accom- 
modation would not be permanently wanted, but the 
hospitals could be used for the civil population. 

Added to all this building work, roads to the extent of 
five hundred miles, of which one hundred and fifty were hill 
roads, were laid out and made passable, raised and bridged 
in most cases, and in some places metalled. These works 
were scattered over the province from Bhamo to the old 
frontier of British Burma. In designing the roads it was 
remembered that the great trunk lines of communication 
were the great rivers in the centre and west of the province, 
and the railway in the east. All the main roads were 
designed to be feeders to the rivers or the rails. In addition 


to the larger roads, many hundreds of miles of tracks and 
rough district roads were cut through the forest and jungles, 
and a survey was begun, to open up the difficult Yaw 
country, through which we had afterwards to push troops. 
(vide Chapter XXI.). I think it may be claimed that 
our engineers did their duty. 

The middle of Upper Burma, the dry zone, as it is called, 
differs in climatic conditions from the country to the south 
and north of it. The rainfall is deficient, and droughts, 
sometimes severe, are not unknown. 

The Burmese rulers were capable of large conceptions, 
but they lacked skill; and their great irrigation schemes, 
attempted without sufficient science, were foredoomed to 
failure. The largest works of this class existing, when 
we took the country, were the Mandalay and Shwebo Canals, 
which were of little use, as even where the construction 
was not faulty they had been allowed to go to ruin. In 
Kyaukse Salin (Minbu district) and elsewhere there were 
extensive canals of a less ambitious nature, which although 
neglected were still of much service. Even in the turmoil 
of 1886 and the pressure of what was in fact a state of 
war, Sir Charles Bernard found time to attend to the irriga- 
tion systems ; and as soon as a skilled engineer could be 
obtained from India, and funds allotted, the work of irrigation 
was tackled in earnest. The first business was to examine 
the existing systems and see whether they could be made 
use of. Before I left Burma in December, 1890, I had 
the pleasure of knowing that this work was in hand, and 
that further deterioration from neglect had been stopped, 
and also that new schemes were under consideration. 

The expenditure in Upper Burma at this time was very 
great. An army of fourteen thousand men cannot be kept 
in the field for nothing. The military police force was 
a second army, and there was besides all the cost of the civil 
administration. The incoming revenue was in comparison 
insignificant. In 1886-7 it had been 250,000 in round 
numbers, in 1887-8 it rose to 500,000 not enough to cover 
the public works expenditure alone. 

It was not wonderful, therefore, that the Government of 
India, whose finances at the time were by no means happy, 
should be nervous about the expenditure. They were most 


gentle and considerate in the matter ; and although it was 
evident that _ our success in Burma would be measured in 
England mainly by the financial results, no pressure was put 
upon me to get in revenue, and I felt the pinch chiefly in the 
difficulty of getting an adequate and competent engineering 
establishment and immediate funds for works, the urgency 
of which was less apparent to the Government of India 
than to me on the spot. With Lord Dufferin's backing 
I obtained what I wanted, and I hope I did not exhibit an 
indecent importunity. 

I had considered and reported to the Finance Depart- 
ment all possible means of raising the revenue. On the 
whole, my conclusion was that we had to look rather to 
existing sources than to new taxation, which in a country 
not yet completely subdued and of which we had imper- 
fect knowledge would have been inexpedient. The excise 
revenue might have been made profitable, but we were 
debarred from interfering for the time with the regulations 
made and sanctioned (somewhat hastily, perhaps) by the 
Government of India, immediately after the annexation. 

Under the circumstance, the best and quickest method 
of improving the financial conditions was clearly the re- 
duction of the field force. This was already under dis- 
cussion. The initial step had been taken and one regiment 
of Native Infantry had been sent back to India. The 
military police had begun to relieve the troops in the 
outposts. The Major-General, Sir George White (who 
in addition to his merits as a gallant leader and good 
strategist, was an able administrator), was careful always 
of public money, and in perfect accord with the civil 
administration. He desired his men to be relieved as quickly 
as possible. 

It was a matter, however, in which it was unsafe to 
rush, and in which a heavy responsibility rested on me. 
Events were happening from time to time which warned 
us that we were not yet out of the wood. On the 3rd of 
June, for example, the troops at Pyinulwin, forty miles 
from Mandalay, led by Colonel May, had attacked a 
stockade held on behalf of the Setkya Mintha, a pre- 
tender. Darrah, Assistant Commissioner, was killed, an 
officer named Cuppage badly wounded, and several men 


5 1 


5 s 




lost. Hkam Leng (see Chapter XX.) was active in the 
Mongmit Country. 

The Commissioners of the Northern and Central Divisions 
were urging me to have the large and numerous islands 
between Mandalay and Sagaing cleared of the gangs who 
held them. They represented the necessity of a river patrol. 
The cry from the Southern Division was for launches. The 
Commissioner wrote that the only boat in his division fit 
for service was that assigned to the military authorities ; 
and this was the day after Captain Hext's arrival on his 
mission from India, to persuade me to reduce my demand 
for boats. 

The Deputy Commissioner for Mandalay reported that 
there was a dacoit leader stockaded within forty miles 
of Mandalay, and that he was unable to get a force to 
turn him out pf his position. 

At the same time (July, 1887) bad news came from the 
Ye-u district. Two pretenders had appeared with a con- 
siderable following. As a prelude they had burnt villages, 
crucified one of the village headmen, and committed other 
brutalities. The civil administration was obliged to ask 
for help from the soldiers in this case. The weather was 
fine, and the country which these men had occupied was 
a good field for cavalry. The Hyderabad Cavalry were 
in the field at once, and the Inspector-General of Police 
was able to get together a hundred mounted military police 
and send them to help. A force from the Chindwin side 
co-operated. The gathering was very soon scattered. One 
of the leaders died of fever and the other escaped for a 
time, but was afterwards captured in the Lower Chindwin 
district, where he was attempting to organize another 

I was compelled in Sagaing also to ask Sir George 
White's assistance. The Sagaing Police battalion was 
backward in training and not fit for outpost work in a 
bad district. The death of Hla U had been expected 
to bring peace. But it now appeared that the district 
on both sides of the Mu was in the hands of three or 
four dacoit leaders who collected a fixed revenue from 
each village, which was spared so long as the demand 
was paid. Any headman who failed to pay was murdered 


remorselessly. In some cases the man's wife and children 
were killed before his face, to add to the sting of death. 

The system in the Sagaing and other districts much 
resembled in its machinery, not altogether in its methods 
the organization of the Nationalists in Ireland. 

At my request Sir George White consented to occupy the 
district closely, and although the gangs were not caught 
or brought to justice, some protection was given to the 
peaceful part of the population until we were ready later 
on to take the district in hand and destroy the gangs. 

In Sagaing, as in some other cases, the local officers had 
been ignorant of what was going on around them. It was 
believed to be quiet because we had no touch with the 
people, and they told us nothing. 

The intention in referring to these events is to show why 
caution was needed in the matter of relieving the troops. 
It must be remembered that a very large proportion of the 
military police had received very little training before their 
arrival. With the exception of some two thousand men, 
all were recruits entirely untaught in drill or discipline. 
The employment of such raw men on outpost duty under 
native officers whom they did not know was not without risk. 
In many cases the risk had to be faced, and consequently 
some disasters were inevitable. Progress was slow, but 
under the conditions it was good. " To instil discipline 
into so large a body of young soldiers," wrote the Inspector- 
General (General Stedman), "was afar more difficult task 
than to teach them the rudiments of drill. By discipline 
must be understood not only good conduct in quarters and 
prompt obedience to the orders of superiors, but the 
necessity of sticking to one another in the field and the 
habit of working together as a welded body." 

Before I left Mandalay again for Lower Burma, Sir 
George White and I had arrived at an agreement regarding 
the force which it was necessary to keep up. We were 
able to propose the abolition of the field force and 
the reduction of the garrison by one regiment of 
British Infantry, two regiments of Indian Cavalry, eight 
regiments of Indian Infantry, and one British Mountain 
Battery. The allocation of the troops and police was re- 
viewed in consultation with the Commissioners of Divisions 


and so made that the one force supplemented the other. 
The reduction was to take effect from the spring of 1888. 
We were now about to enter on a new development of 
the British occupation. The civil officers, supported by the 
military police, were to take the responsibility of keeping 
order. The soldiers were there ready to help if need be, 
but they were not to be called out except for operations 
beyond the power of the police. 


I HAD arranged to hold a Durbar at Mandalay on the 
5th of August, in order to meet the notables of Burma, 
and such of the Shan chiefs as might be able to come, face 
to face, and to make them understand the position, the 
intentions, and the power of the British Government. I 
hoped, perhaps not in vain, that the spirit of my words 
might penetrate to the towns and villages of Burma. 

Meanwhile I had not visited Bhamo, and I decided to go 
there. I had sent for Mr. Hildebrand, whom I wanted to 
consult about the operations in the Shan States which were 
to be undertaken in the coming cold season. He arrived 
before I Jeft Mandalay for Bhamo, and as he evidently 
needed rest, I asked him to remain at Government House 
until my return. 

I found Bhamo a disappointing place. A very dirty, 
miserable kind of village, arranged in two streets parallel 
to the river. At the back lay a marsh or lagoon, which 
evidently was at one time a channel for the backwater of 
the river. Conservancy there was none, and the stench 
from the streets, the lagoon, and even the bank of the river 
was sickening. Considering that the place had been the 
headquarters of a district since our occupation, and a can- 
tonment for British and Indian troops, it was not much to 
be proud of. But the soldiers and the civil officers had 
been well occupied with more pressing business. 

The Chinese were the most prominent of the population. 
They were all, it was said, opium smokers, and seldom 
moved until near midday. They managed notwithstanding 
to make money, and to retire with fortunes after a few 
years. I anticipated a large increase of the trade with 


China, but doubted if the town could grow much on its 
present site.* As to the trade, it could not make much pro- 
gress on account of the cost of transport between Bhamo 
and Tengyueh, the risk of attack by Kachins, and the 
exactions and oppressions of the Chinese Customs officials, 
who at one time had maintained a UJcin station within the 
British boundary not far from Bhamo. There was another 
route used by traders, which went by Mansi and Namkham, 
a Shan State on the Shweli. Since the Kachins in the 
country south of Bhamo have been subjugated, the Chinese 
caravans have preferred the Namkham route; and at 
present although the Kachins have ceased to raid, and 
much has been done of late to improve the road to Tengyueh, 
the trade has not returned to that channel. 

A survey for a light railway to Tengyueh has been made, 
but a strange indifference exists to the benefits certain, as I 
think, to result from making the line. The construction of 
a railway between Northern Burma and Yunnan has always 
appeared to me essential to the full development of the 
province. The opportunity has been lost and France has 
anticipated us. It would be a difficult and expensive work 
no doubt, but whether more difficult than the French line 
may be doubted. Even now, after twenty years, it has not 
been surveyed beyond the Kunlon ferry, and the opinion of 
persons without engineering knowledge has been accepted 
as sufficient to condemn it. But we may still hope. 
Napoleon crossing the Alps might have scoffed at the 
notion of a railway to Italy. 

There is a vast area of land in Upper Burma waiting for 
population to cultivate it, and if communications were 
made easy, the Chinese Shans and possibly Chinese and 
Panthays from Yunnan might be induced to settle in the 
northern districts. The Chinese and Burmans are akin, 
and the offspring of Chinese fathers and Burman mothers 
have the good qualities of both races, which cannot be said 
of other crosses. 

I returned to Mandalay from Bhamo before the end of 
July, having learnt and arranged much, especially in con- 

* The population was 8,048 in 1891, and 10,734 in 1901, of which 
number 3,000 were natives of India. These numbers include the 


sultation with Major Adamson, the Deputy Commissioner, 
regarding the contemplated occupation of Mogaung. The 
stations on the river were all inspected on the way down. 

I found Mr. Hildebrand waiting for me, and discussed 
with him and with Sir George White the plans for an expe- 
dition to the Shan States. 

The Durbar was held on the 5th of August, and I think 
was a useful function. It was held in the great Eastern 
Hall of the Palace, the place where the King of Burma 
used to give audience to his feudatories and his people. 
The ex-ministers and some of the Shan Sawbwas were 
present, and the great hall was crowded with notables and 
officials from Mandalay and other districts. It must have 
been to them a striking occasion, and to many of them, 
perhaps, not altogether pleasant. To such as had any 
patriotic feeling, and no doubt many of them had, the 
representative of a foreign Government standing in front 
of the empty throne must have been the abomination of 
desolation standing where it ought not.* 

My duty, however, was not to show sympathy with 
sentiment of this kind, but to impress them with the 
permanence, the benevolence, and the power of the new 
Government. In an appendix I have given the text of my 
speech and some comments upon it taken from an article 
in the Times newspaper of the 13th of September, 1887. 
Two of the high Burman officials who had formerly been 
in the King's service, the Kinwun Mingyi, one of the Minis- 
ters of the State, and the Myowun, or City Governor of 
Mandalay, both of whom had given great assistance to the 
British Government, received decorations. The former 
was made a Companion of the Star of India and the latter 
of the Indian Empire. I was glad to get the following 
commendation from Lord Dufferin. 

He wrote : " I congratulate you on your Durbar and 
upon the excellent speech you made on the occasion. It 
was full of go and good sense, and will convince everybody 
that you really mean business." 

There were fresh rumours at this time (August, 1887) 
of hostile intentions on the part of the Chinese, of gather- 

* This was written before the removal of the capital of India from 
Delhi to Calcutta. 


ings of soldiers and bandits on the frontier, of the presence 
of auxiliaries from Yunnan with San Ton Hon in Theinni. 
There was no foundation in fact for any of these rumours ; 
Mr. Warry, the Chinese adviser, placed no faith in them, 
and I did not believe in them. But they were repeated 
in the newspapers, magnified in gossip, and disturbed the 
public mind. 

The best way of silencing these rumours was to make 
our occupation of the northernmost district, Mogaung, 
effectual, and to establish a definite control in the Shan 
States. In concert with the Major-General, proposals for 
effecting both these objects had been prepared and were 
before the Government of India, and I knew that the 
Viceroy approved them. 

In neither case was serious opposition expected. De- 
tailed accounts of both movements will be found in 
separate chapters of this book. In the case of the Shan 
States, the character of the expedition was essentially 
peaceful and conciliatory. The escorts given to the two 
civil officers were strong enough to deter, or if necessary 
overcome, opposition and support the dignity of our repre- 
sentatives. But unless hostilities broke out, in which 
case the military commanders would necessarily become 
supreme, the control was vested in the senior civil officer, 
Mr. Hildebrand. It is unnecessary to say more here, except 
that with Sir George White's help everything was done 
to keep down the cost. Not a man more than was abso- 
lutely necessary was sent. The Shan plateau, at this 
time nowhere prosperous, was in some parts on the verge 
of famine ; not from drought or other climatic cause, but 
simply from the cat-and-dog life the people had led for 
some years. No supplies could be obtained in the country. 
It was necessary to ration the troops for four or five months, 
and the cost of transport was heavy. 

Every one felt, however, that cost what it might, the 
work we had undertaken must be completed. Nothing 
could have justified us in leaving the Shan country any 
longer in a state of anarchy; and I doubt if even the 
most narrow-minded Under Secretary in the Financial 
Department dared to raise objections to the needful ex- 
penditure. It may be permitted to say here that no money 


was better spent. The Shan plateau for lovely scenery, 
for good climate, and I believe for its natural wealth, is 
proving itself a most valuable possession. Lord Dufferin 
thoroughly approved of the action taken in these cases. 

It was a relief to deal with these larger matters. They 
were less harassing than the constant stream of adminis- 
trative details of every kind which leave a man at the 
head of a large province barely time to think of his most 
important problems. The demands from the Secretary of 
State for information, which came through the Government 
of India, wasted a great deal of time. Members of Parlia- 
ment who cannot force themselves into notice in other 
ways, take up a subject like Burma, of which no one knows 
anything, and ask questions which the Secretary of State 
has to answer. Frequently there was little foundation 
for these questions, and when the call came to answer 
them, it took both time and labour to ascertain what they 
were all about. Correspondents of newspapers, not so 
much perhaps out of malice although that is not quite 
unknown as from the necessities of their profession are 
greedy for sensational news. They know that the English 
public prefer to think that their servants abroad are either 
fools or scoundrels. If everything is reported to be going 
well and the officers to be doing their duty, few will credit 
it, and none will be interested in it. But hint vaguely at 
dark intrigues or horrible atrocities, ears are cocked at 
once, and the newspaper boys sweep in the pence. 

Few of the uninitiated would believe how much time 
has to be given by the head of an Indian province to 
the placing of his men. In a climate like Burma, and 
under the conditions obtaining in 1887, frequent and sudden 
sickness compels officers to take leave. The civil staff 
of the province was barely sufficient if no losses occurred. 
If a man fell out it was often difficult to supply his place, 
and if a good man went down, as they often did, it was 
sometimes impossible to find a good man to succeed him. 
Writing to Lord Dufferin at this time (September, 1887) 
of one of the worst districts, I said : " I have not been able 
to put a good man there yet, but I hope to have a man 
soon. It all depends on getting hold of the right man." 
In a settled province the personal factor is not so important ; 


but in a newly annexed country it is everything. Even 
in the oldest province in India, if a fool is put in charge 
of a district and kept there long enough you will have 
trouble of some sort. 

Much has been heard of late years of the evils of transfers, 
and even Viceroys have talked as if the carelessness or 
favouritism of provincial governors were responsible for 
the mischief. The real cause in my experience is the in- 
adequacy of the staff of officers. If one man falls sick and 
has to leave his district, two or three transfers may become 
inevitable. The Government of India realize no doubt that 
the staff, of the smaller provinces especially, is inadequate. 
If they give a liberal allowance of Englishmen the expense 
is increased and promotion becomes too slow. If they 
cut down the staff, the head of the province has to tear 
his hair and worry through somehow. 


IT was in Kangoon at this time that I made up my mind 
to disarm the whole province, Upper and Lower, 
rigorously, as soon as possible. I wrote to Lord Dufferin on 
September 30, 1887, as follows : " I am of opinion that the 
time has come for the complete disarming of the whole 
province, except perhaps on some exposed frontiers. The 
firearms in the hands of dacoits are evidently much fewer, 
but they continually replenish their stock by taking arms 
from villagers and Burman police. I would temper the 
measure in the Lower province by giving arms to selected 
Karens and Burmans, who should enrol themselves as special 
constables. As the Burmans hate nothing so much as 
signing any engagement to serve for a term, few of them 
would enrol themselves. 

" I should fix the number of such special police myself, for 
each district." 

The Baptist missionaries, I feared, would not look upon 
the scheme with favour. The loyalty of the Karens and the 
benefits of their organization under their missionaries, to 
whom the Government, as I have said on a former page, 
owes much, were not questioned. But it was not ad- 
missible that the Government of Burma should prefer one 
race more than another, and I had been warned by one of 
the missionaries themselves that Burman ill-will had been 
excited by the preference given to Karens in raising bodies 
of police auxiliaries during the disturbances. 

By laying down conditions, fair and necessary in them- 
selves, which men of the one race were likely to accept, but 
would be less acceptable to the other, as much discrimina- 
tion was made between Karens and Burmans as was 
needful or decent. 



In Upper Burma, Sir Charles Bernard had ordered the 
withdrawal of firearms from the villagers, soon after the 
annexation. It was not possible to carry it out effectually 
at that time. It was not until 1888 that I had arranged all 
the details and could put the orders fully into force. It is 
admitted generally to have been a beneficial measure, and 
to have helped very much to pacify the country and to 
put down dacoity. It is a pity that the disarmament 
of Lower Burma had not been enforced many years before. 
But no accumulation of facts are enough to destroy a 
prejudice, and for a long time my action was violently, 
I might say virulently, denounced in the Press and in 

The wisdom and necessity of this measure has come, 
I think, to be admitted by most people and was never 
doubted by my successors, who wisely disarmed the Chins 
at the cost of a serious rising and a hill campaign. The 
number of firearms taken from the villagers amounted 
in the years 1888 and 1889 to many thousands. Most 
of them were very antiquated and fit for a museum of 
ancient weapons. But they served the purpose of the 
Burman brigand, and not a few good men, British and 
Indian, died by them. 

The Village Regulation was passed on October 28, 1887. 
It established on a legal basis the ancient and still existing 
constitution of Upper Burma. While emphasizing the 
responsibility of the village headman, it gave him sufficient 
powers and the support of the law. It also enacted the 
joint responsibility of the village in the case of certain 
crimes ; the duty of all to resist the attacks of gangs 
of robbers and to take measures to protect their villages 
against such attacks. In the case of stolen cattle which 
were traced to a village, it placed on it the duty of carrying 
on the tracks or paying for the cattle. It gave the district 
officer power to remove from a village, and cause to reside 
elsewhere, persons who were aiding and abetting dacoits 
and criminals. This enactment, the genesis of which I 
have given in a former chapter, was framed in accordance 
with the old customary law and with the feelings of the 
people. It strengthened our hands more and gave us 
a tighter grip on the country than anything else could have 



done. Without the military police no law could have done 
much. Without the Village Eegulation, the military police 
would have been like a ship without a rudder. 

When the open season of 1887-8 began, the administra- 
tion was in a strong position to deal with the disorder still 
prevailing. It was prepared as it never had been before. 
There was the law enforcing village responsibility, and 
enabling the magistrate to deal summarily with the persons 
who were really the life of dacoity ; those who, living an 
apparently honest life, were the intelligence and commis- 
sariat agents of the gangs. All the details of disarmament 
had not been settled, but every opportunity was taken of 
withdrawing arms, and in the case of dacoit leaders or their 
followers, or of rebel villages, the surrender of a certain 
number of firearms was made a condition of the grant of 
pardon. Lastly, the military police organization was 
complete, and the physical force needed to enforce the law 
was thus provided in a ready and convenient form. 

The rains were over, and I anticipated that the dacoits 
would again become active. I also thought it probable that 
the inexperienced police would meet with some disasters. 

The country now in the Thayetmyo district, frequented 
by Bo Swe, was quieter. He was a fugitive with a dimin- 
ished following. Early in October we were cheered by the 
news of his destruction. The Viceroy wired his congratu- 

It may seem unworthy of the Government of a great 
country to rejoice at the death of a brigand whose influence 
did not extend over more than a few hundred square miles. 
It was not the man's death, but all that it meant. A sign 
of the coming end slowly coming, it may be, but still the 
corning end of a very weary struggle with a system of 
resistance which was costing us many good men and a 
lavish expenditure of money. Bo Swe was ridden down 
by a party of Colonel Clements' Mounted Infantry belonging 
to the Lower Burma command. He and his men were 
surprised in a ravine, and many, including Bo Swe, killed. 

There were still left the broken remnants of the leader's 
following. Active officers, with special powers and suffi- 
cient police, were placed in charge of the Northern sub- 
divisions of the Thayetmyo district on both sides of the 


river, and order was established before the end of 1887. 
But in Upper Burma the districts of the Southern Division 
remained in a very bad state. Oktama was still master, 
especially in the valley of the M6n. I had not found the 
right men for Minbu, and the weakness of the civil 
administration was represented as an evil, not without 
reason, by the military commanders. 

The following extract from a letter dated 1st of October, 
1887, from the Commissioner of the Southern Division will 
give a better idea of the state of things than mere general 
phrases : 

" On 16th August, Po Saung, an informer, was caught 
and killed by Bo Cho's gang in Pagan. 

" On 29th August, Yan Sin, a dacoit who had submitted, 
was caught and killed by Nga Kway in Pagan. 

"On 5th September, at Kokkozu village in Pauk, the 
dacoits tried to catch the thugyi, but failed, and caught and 
murdered his wife. 

" Su Gaung, a mounted police constable, was shot while 
carrying letters between Myingyan and Natogyi on 16th 

" In Lindaung, Pagan district, the thugyi was murdered a 
month ago and Thade's gang on 10th September attempted 
to capture his son, but failed, and plundered the village. 

" On 29th September, Nurtama in Minbu, which is the 
headquarters of the Kyabin Myook, was attacked. The 
Myook' s and seven other houses were burned ; no one was 
killed. The Myook lived here in fear of his life for some 
time. He sleeps at night at Sinbyugyun, on the other 
side of the Salin Creek, and if he sleeps at Nurtama he 
does not sleep in his own house, but in a little post which 
he has built. He has taken a guard of ten men from 

" On 24th September at Sagyun, in Myingyan district, 
Custance's interpreter and the thugyi of Welon were break- 
fasting in the village ; they were attacked, and the interpreter 
killed, his head being nearly severed from his body. The 
thugyi escaped with a slight wound." 

More than one attack was made on Yeuangyaung, the 
village near the oil-wells, with the object of killing the 
Burman headman. The raiders did not secure him, but 


they carried off his wife and daughter and set fire to a number 
of boats, loaded with oil. The military police (a few raw 
Punjabis without a British officer) were flurried and did 
nothing. These attacks made them nervous, and shortly 
afterwards, taking a forest officer, who was going down the 
river with a white umbrella * over his head, for a leader of 
rebels, they fired volleys at him until he and his crew had 
to get out of the boat and cling to the side of it. Fortu- 
nately the men shot badly and no one was hit. The forest 
officer complained loudly of the indignity he had suffered, 
which he thought was not within the letter of his bond. 
It was believed that the men who had made the attack on 
Yenangyaung had come from the right bank of the Irra- 
waddy River. There was a patrol launch on this part of the 
river, and it had called several times at Yenangyaung before 
the attack. We had not enough boats to patrol a long 
stretch of river effectually, and it was easy for the dacoits 
to watch the steamer as it went up or down and time their 
crossing. The Commissioner, therefore, collected the 
boats on the right bank and put them under guards until 
confidence was restored. The towns on the left bank 
below Pagan were reported to live in dread of attack. 

Meanwhile trouble broke out in the Chindwin district, on 
the west of the river. Two leaders of revolt had appeared 
in this region. One was the Bayingan, or Viceroy, of the 
Myingun Prince whose name has already been mentioned. 
He was known to have left the Mandalay district with the 
object of raising a disturbance in the Chindwin. The other 
was a person called the Shwegyobyu Prince, who at the 
time of the annexation had been a vaccinator in the 
Government service in the Thayetmyo district. He must 
have been a man of considerable character and ambition, 
for when the war began he went up to the Chindwin 
country and established himself at Kanle, in the difficult 
hills of the Pondaung range. He assumed, with what right 
is not known, the style and title of " Prince," and proceeded 
to enrol men to resist the foreigners. 

While we were congratulating ourselves on the destruc- 
tion of Bo Swe and his gang, news came down that Pagyi 
was up. As yet we had not been able to occupy this 
region. It was a country of hills and ravines, densely 
* The white umbrella is a token of royalty. 


wooded and also very unhealthy. It had been impossible to 
find civil officers to administer it, or men, either soldiers or 
police, to occupy it. The people had always more or less 
managed their own affairs under their own headmen, and as 
a temporary makeshift we had endeavoured to continue this 
arrangement. One, Maung Po. 0, had been appointed an 
honorary head constable, and had hitherto maintained order 
in the south-west corner of Pagyi, and Maung Tha Gyi, an 
influential headman, held a similar position in the north- 
west and had done well and had acted with loyalty. The 
villages under Maung Tha Gyi, a group of small hamlets of 
twenty to thirty houses each, lay in the thick scrub jungle 
on the spurs of the Pondaung range. 

A leader named Bo Sawbwa, who was acting in the 
interests of the Shwegyobyu Prince and had fortified him- 
self in the jungles south of Pagyi, attacked and carried off 
Po. 0. At the same time Maung Tha Gyi suddenly threw 
off his allegiance to the British, collected men, and fortified 
a position near one of his villages. He was reported to 
be ready to join the Shwegyobyu Prince, who ever since his 
gang was dispersed in 1886 had been harboured by a circle 
of villages in the west of Pagyi. 

On receipt of this intelligence every precaution was taken. 
Sir George White sent Colonel Symons to take command 
of the military operations, and I selected Mr. Carter as the 
best man to accompany him as a civil officer with magis- 
terial powers. 

Captain Kaikes was Deputy Commissioner of the Chind- 
win district at the time. He was away on leave, and Mr. 
W. T. Morison,* of the Indian Civil Service, Bombay Presi- 
dency, was acting for him and was at A16n, the district 
headquarters on the left bank of the Chindwin River. Mr. 
W. T. Morison was a young officer of five or six years' 
service and had been in Burma a very short time. He was 
one of the young men, of whom there were not a few in 
Burma, who took instinctively to the work. 

On the 2nd of October he crossed over to the disturbed 
tract and joined Lieutenant Plumer, who, with a detach- 
ment of the 2nd Hyderabad Contingent Infantry, was at 
Hlawga, a march west from the river. 

* Wm. Thomson Morison, C.S.I., member of Executive Council of 
the Governor of Bombay. 


Mr. Morison wrote at once to Maung Tha Gyi, ordering 
him to come in. Tha Gyi, who was at one of his villages, 
Chaungwa, about sixteen miles from Hlawga, sent an 
evasive reply and began to collect men and arms. 

Mr. Morison decided to try to surprise him. On the 
morning of the 8th of October, Lieutenant Plumer and Mr. 
Morison, with twenty-one Mounted Infantry, from the mili- 
tary police battalion, and the Hyderabad Contingent, left 
Hlawga soon after midnight, and surprised Chaungwa at 
four o'clock in the morning, when it was still dark. 

The village, when day broke, was found to be on the west 
bank of a deep ravine, at the bottom of which was the only 
cart-road. On the steep bank on which the village stood 
strong fortifications and entrenchments, commanding this 
cart-road, had been built ; trees had been felled and thrown 
across, and the road covered with bamboo spikes. Our men 
were led by an excellent guide, who took them through the 
jungle across the ravine and up to one of the enemy's 

Twenty-one men could not surround the village, - but 
they rushed it, killing one only and capturing six. The 
leaders, who were found to have been the Bayingan and 
Maung Tha Gyi, escaped. Nine ponies tied near the 
house occupied by the former were taken, and in the 
house were found twenty royal battle standards, many 
arms, and much correspondence. 

After a halt for rest, the main body, fifteen rifles with 
the prisoners and captured ponies, were sent off. Lieu- 
tenant Plumer and Mr. Morison, with a jemadar and six 
mounted military policemen and a Burmese interpreter, 
remained behind, hoping that some of the enemy would 
return and fall into their hands. The Burmans, however, 
were not so simple. After a short delay the two British 
officers and their men set out to follow the main body. 
The moment they reached the ravine a volley was fired 
from the perpendicular bank opposite the village. Maung 
Po Min, the interpreter, was shot in the leg, his pony killed, 
and Mr. Morison's hand was grazed by a bullet. Mr. 
Morison, who was well mounted, took Po Min up behind 
him, and they all scrambled up the western bank of the 
ravine, hoping to be able to see the dacoits and return 


their fire. A few volleys were fired at random, as the 
enemy could not be seen ; and then, fearing further ambus- 
cades, the small party took a jungle track, hoping it would 
lead round into the main road lower down. The village 
of Chaungwa is on the spurs of a low range of hills. The 
jungle is of the densest, and cut up in every direction by 
deep ravines, and they had no guide. The track was 
evidently taking them in a wrong direction. They resolved 
to leave it and make as nearly due east as they could. 

The rest of the story can best be told in Mr. Morison's 
own words, taken from a letter to the Commissioner 
of the Central Division, dated Camp Kyadet, the 13th of 
October, 1887: 

" After about fifteen minutes the dacoits, who had followed 
us, opened fire on us from about 50 yards in the front, they 
being quite concealed. After one volley they would retire, 
allow us to go forward 200 yards, then go round in front 
and give us another volley. We had at each volley to 
dismount and try and return their fire as best we could. 
But from first to last the dacoits were invisible and under 
complete cover, and, knowing the jungle, had time to go 
ahead, lie in wait for us, and take aim. This continued 
for over an hour. Our horses were completely done out 
with going down and up the precipitous ravines, and the 
ravines became at last quite impassable for horses. So 
after a consultation we determined to leave our ponies and 
make our way east on foot. Shortly after leaving the 
ponies one of the men, Amir Mahomed, was shot dead in 
the head from one of the usual ambuscades. That the 
others of our party escaped appears a miracle to me. 
However, after about two hours, i.e., about 10 a.m., the 
firing ceased, and we managed, exhausted as we were, to 
get clear of the jungle by 2 p.m., going 200 yards at a time 
and then lying down to rest. We arrived at Mintainbin at 
4 p.m. and Hlawga at 6. Our loss was thus one man 
killed and seven police ponies, with saddles and bridles, 
left. . . . The men behaved well throughout the affair." 

If the ponies had not been left there would have been 
little chance of the men escaping from the jungle with 
their lives. 

Unfortunately, the mass of the Bayingan's correspond- 


ence was in one of the saddle-bags abandoned with the 
ponies. Some of the documents saved were copies of 
notices to noted leaders in many districts of Upper Burma 
and the Shan States. The following is a translation of one 
of them : 

" I, the Bayingan Prince, brother of the Myingun 
Prince, write to the Chief Bo Nyo U and other Chiefs in 
Sagaing as follows. I have been to all Sawbwas, Bo 
Gyoks (Chief Bos), and other Bos of the north, south, and 
east, and have given orders and administered oaths which 
they have taken ; they have promised to serve loyally, and 
we intend to drive the British from Kani and Pagyi and 
take Alon, Shwebo, Dabayen, &c., and go up to Mandalay 
in month of Tazaungmon." 

Careful inquiries showed that Maung Ba, the Bayingan 
Prince, arrived in Pagyi in the end of September and came 
to Maung Tha Gyi. Since his arrival he had been corre- 
sponding with the Shwegyobyu Prince and other Bos in 
this part, and had actually sent over to Yaw for assistance. 
He had friends in Alon and elsewhere. A letter from Kin 
Le Gyi (a maid-of-honour to Supayalat, who had since the 
war taken contracts for public works in Monywa and else- 
where, and had been trusted by the British officials) was 
found in the Prince's house, saying that she was going up 
to Alon to see how the troops were disposed and what all the 
officers were doing, and that she would write to him on her 
return. This is very characteristic of the Burman woman. 

On the 12th of October Morison was back at Kyadet, 
in the south of Pagyi, where there was a military post, 
and consulted with Major Kennedy, commanding the 
2nd Hyderabad Contingent Infantry, who arrived with 
a reinforcement of seventy rifles. They decided to tele- 
graph for more troops. This request had been anticipated. 

Unfortunately, Major Kennedy did not wait for the 
reinforcements. Hearing that the Bayingan and Tha 
Gyi had taken up a position at Chinbyit, about twenty 
miles from Kyadet, he left with a few Mounted Infantry. 
He was accompanied by Captain Beville, Assistant Commis- 
sioner, who had been posted to the district to enable Mr. 
Morison to return to his headquarters at Alon. The rebels, 
who were in strength and in a good position, stood, and both 


Major Kennedy and Captain Beville were killed. The 
rebels lost forty men, killed. The seventy rifles, under 
Lieutenant PI timer (2nd Hyderabad Contingent Infantry), 
came up in time to complete the defeat of the enemy. 

It was reported at the time that the leaders had escaped. 
Afterwards it was found that Maung Tha Gyi and the 
Bayingan Prince had both been killed.* Nga Pyo, a 
notorious rebel and dacoit leader, was present, but did not 
expose himself, and lived until 1889, to be assassinated by a 
colleague. Whether the Shwegyobyu Prince was there is 

The action at Chinbyit cost us much. Lord Dufferin 
wrote: "It is too distressing to think that so slight an 
affair should have cost us the lives of two valuable officers." 
Their lives were not thrown away. The loss inflicted 
on the enemy was severe, and the death of the Bayingan 
prince put an end to a troublesome organization. 

* Mr. Carter records in the official diary of his work in Pagyi with 
Colonel Symons, under date 27th of November, 1887: "At Chinbyit 
visited scene of late fight. The villagers pointed out the skeleton of 
the Bayengan. The body had been left where it had fallen, a few 
bushes and stones being placed over it to keep off dogs and vultures." 


I LEFT Eangoon on the 30th of November, after 
arranging the measures necessary for commencing the 
disarmament of the province at the beginning of the new 
year. There were two districts in Lower Burma giving 
trouble at that time Tharrawaddy in the Pegu Division 
and Thayetmyo. Tharrawaddy has always been a sore 
spot.* In the early part of 1889 it was brought into a 
more orderly state ; but towards the end of the year, 
owing in a great measure to the action of the local 
officers in issuing licences for firearms to the villagers, 
the gangs were able to obtain weapons, and crime in- 
creased to such a degree that strenuous measures had to 
be adopted. 

I went to Thayetmyo, and there met the local officers 
and heard what account they had to give. They reported 
the remaining gangs to be small. Parties of Mounted 
Infantry, with active police and civil officers, were told off 
to work both sides of the river, and a great improvement 
was effected in a few months. 

I marched from Thayetmyo to Minhla, about seventy 
miles, having all the neighbouring villagers collected to 
meet me at each halting-place. They were encouraged to 
talk freely and tell their grievances. They complained 
only of the impressment of carts and such -like matters 
inseparable from the constant movement of troops and 
the disturbed times. That they had suffered a good deal 
between the upper and the nether millstone the Govern- 
ment and the dacoits may be easily believed. But it was 

* " Long notorious for the ill-repute of its inhabitants." See Burma 
Gazetteer, vol. i., p. 258. 



in great part their own fault, as they would not give our 
officers information. 

The country through which we marched was mostly 
dense forest and jungle, with very few villages. It was 
only necessary to see it to understand the difficulty of 
beating out of such cover small gangs of active men, un- 
encumbered by anything except their arms, and able to 
get food from any hamlet. The wonder is that with a 
mere handful of Mounted Infantry at their disposal, our 
officers were able to run the dacoits down and exterminate 
them in so short a time. 

Sir Benjamin Simpson, K.C.I.E., Surgeon-General, with 
the Government of India, who had been sent over by 
the Government to advise me about the medical establish- 
ments of the military police and of the province generally, 
accompanied me on this march. 

From Minhla I went to Minbu and saw the officers there. 
I then went on to Pagan. In order to see the country 
about Popa, I rode from Pagan to Popa and back by 
another road. This country is very wild and densely 
wooded. It would seem to one riding through it to be 
uncultivated, but this is not the case. All the bottoms of 
the slopes are cultivated, and there are numerous shallow 
streams which in the dry weather have no water in them. 
The villages were few and poor-looking, mere huts with 
palm-leaf thatch. The cattle, however, were numerous 
and good, carts stood in all the villages. 

Not a man was to be seen anywhere, only women and 
children. We had lost our way and wanted a guide, and 
eventually were fain to ask for two women to show us the 
way. It is no wonder that Popa was the home of dacoits. 
Most of the people seemed at this time to live by stealing 
cattle from the neighbouring and more populous districts. 
Once they got the cattle into their villages, they kept them 
in enclosures, hidden away in the jungle, until they could 
drive them off to a distant market. This country was 
not brought under control for two years. 

From Pagan I crossed to Pakokku and saw the Wun- 
kadaw and her son, and Mr. Browning the Assistant 
Commissioner, and then went on to Myingyan. I had 
only time to inspect the station and see the officers and 


talk to Brigadier-General Low, when a telegram came from 
Sir George White asking me to come up to Mandalay at 
once, as trouble threatened with the Wuntho Sawbwa. 

This man's territory lay in a hilly country lying between 
the Katha district and the Chindwin River. He had been 
from the first year of our occupation a source of trouble ; 
he refused to come in, and at one time objected to pay 
his tribute. Early in '87 the Commissioner of the Northern 
Division, Mr. Burgess, went to the town of Wuntho, which 
is on the eastern extremity of his country, and is not his 
real capital although he takes his title from it, to meet 
him. Mr. Burgess was accompanied by a military force. 
The matter was then arranged by the Sawbwa paying 
his tribute, but he refused to see our officers, and continued 
to give trouble by harbouring dacoits and insurgents who 
raided our territory. 

It was the fixed policy of Lord Dufferin to preserve 
so far as might be these autonomous States. I have 
explained elsewhere how it came about that Shan States 
existed in this part of Burma, separated as they were by 
position and in their politics from the body of States on the 
Shan plateau. Every endeavour was made therefore to 
smooth matters and not to quarrel with the Wuntho man, 
whom we believed, and perhaps justly, to be actuated more 
by fear than by determined hostility. 

The circumstances which led Sir George White to call 
me to Mandalay were these. A regiment of Gurkhas was 
coming across from India to relieve another which had 
been some time in Burma. It was convenient to bring the 
relieving regiment down by the Kabaw Valley to the Chind- 
win, where they would meet the other. A road had been 
selected through the Wuntho territory by which both 
regiments should march. They were to meet on the Chind- 
win and exchange transport trains, thus saving expense and 

This was a natural arrangement. The route did not pass 
through the Sawbwa's capital. The military authorities 
had satisfied themselves that it was practicable for troops. 
I agreed to the proposal, caused the matter to be carefully 
explained to the Sawbwa, and directed him to collect sup- 
plies and to clear the roads. 


The Sawbwa replied, objecting to our troops passing 
through, and proposing an alternative route to which he 
had no objection. He based his opposition on the ground 
of personal fear, and referred to our assurance that Wuntho 
should not be occupied. I considered that we could not 
allow the Sawbwa to close his territory to us, and after 
consulting the Major-General, I told the Sawbwa through 
the Deputy Commissioner of Katha that the regiments must 
march by the road we had chosen. Rumours had been 
heard for some time that the Sawbwa was blocking his 
roads and preparing to oppose us in force. General White 
wished me to come up at once as the regiment leaving 
Burma had reached Kawlin, which is on the verge of 
Wuntho territory, and it was necessary to decide on the 
action to be taken in case its march was opposed. I decided 
to let it wait at Kawlin for ten days in order to give the 
Sawbwa time to reply to my order, utilising the delay by 
making arrangements to support and strengthen the Gurkhas 
in case we should have to fight. Soon after this decision 
had been reached, Sir George White sent me a telegram from 
the Colonel commanding the 43rd, dated from Kawlin, to 
the effect that the route by which he had been ordered to 
march was impracticable, and that the attempt to march 
along it would be opposed. General White advised the 
acceptance of the Sawbwa's alternative route, which was re- 
ported to have been prepared and supplied with provisions. 

As my order sent through the Deputy Commissioner had 
been couched in very peremptory terms, I felt it inadvisable 
to withdraw. The Sawbwa was reported to be making 
preparations for opposing us by force, and if we drew back 
now our action would be certainly attributed to fear. 
There was telegraphic communication with Katha, but 
letters to Wuntho had to go on by messenger. It occurred 
to me that the Deputy Commissioner's messenger might 
still be stopped, and I telegraphed to Katha to recall him. 
Fortunately the letter was stopped at Kawlin. Under these 
circumstances Sir George White and I agreed to send the 
Gurkhas by the road which the Sawbwa had prepared. Any 
other course would have laid us open to the charge of 
having picked a quarrel with the Sawbwa. 

There was every reason at the time for avoiding a step 


which would have increased our direct responsibilities. The 
civil staff of the province was weak, not only in numbers 
but in experience. I was forced to trust men with districts 
who had no training and did not know Burmese. The 
annexation of Upper Burma was more difficult in some 
ways than the annexation of the Punjab. In the latter 
case there was in the army and in the adjacent provinces 
a supply of officers acquainted if not with the language of 
the Punjab, yet with a kindred speech. The whole cadre 
of Lower Burma was only threescore men, and it was 
impossible to take many men fit for service in Upper Burma 
from its ranks without leaving the Lower Province very 
much undermanned. For these reasons I did my best as 
long as I was in Burma to avoid a breach with the Wuntho 
Sawbwa, and latterly, when he sent in his wife to Mandalay 
to see the Commissioner, I was in hopes that we had over- 
come his suspicions, but I felt certain that sooner or later w r e 
should be obliged to get rid of him. I do not regret having 
waited as long as possible. When he broke out in 1891 
the whole of the adjacent country was under control, the 
military police were organized and trained, and his revolt 
was put down with very little trouble or disturbance. No 
one can say that he was treated otherwise than with the 
greatest forbearance. I shall not have to refer to him 


THE beginning of 1888 saw the civil administration in a 
position to wage a systematic campaign against all 
disturbers of the peace. 

Lower Burma had been reduced almost to its normal 
condition. The late Mr. Todd Naylor in the Tharrawaddy 
district had thoroughly extirpated the gangs which had 
troubled it and brought it to a state of quiet which it had 
not enjoyed for a very long time. 

The disarmament of the whole province had been syste- 
matically taken in hand ; the Village Regulation had become 
law, the military police had been organized and now num- 
bered 17,880 men. The whole conditions had been changed. 
At the beginning of the year (1887) the troops had held 
one hundred and forty-two posts and the police fifty posts. 
At the end of the year the police held one hundred and 
seventy-five, and the troops eighty-four. The concentration 
of the troops in a few principal stations, left the work of 
destroying the remaining gangs to the military police, who 
were frequently engaged in action with dacoits. There 
were a few petty disasters at first. Nothing else was or 
could have been -expected of partially trained men scattered 
about in small posts. There were only three serious cases 
in 1888. In one case, in distinct contravention of my orders, 
a small picket of ten men had been put out on the edge of 
a forest in a small house or shed without even a bamboo 
stockade. The picket was two miles from a military police 
post. The Burmans set fire to a cooking shed and volleyed 
the police by the aid of the firelight. Seven men fell to 
the first two volleys and only two were unwounded. These 
men behaved gallantly and jiept the dacoits at bay until aid 
came from the post. 


In another case and in another district a patrol of one 
jemadar and eleven sepoys was ambushed. The jemadar 
and nine of the men were killed and one man badly wounded 
and left for dead. The remaining man with the aid of two 
Burmans reached the nearest post. A party was sent out 
and the wounded man picked up. 

The third disaster was in the Mag we district, where thirty 
men under an English Inspector met a large body of 
dacoits and were forced to retreat losing seven killed and 
two wounded. Six Snider rifles and two ponies were cap- 
tured by the dacoits. This was an unfortunate affair for 
which the men were not responsible. It gave the Magwe 
dacoits fresh spirit. 

To the responsible head of the administration the year 
1888 was one of much anxiety. The troops were vacating 
numerous outposts held by them and they were being 
replaced by police fresh from India, and most of them im- 
perfectly trained. The dacoits had learned to fear the 
soldiers, and the presence of a large body of men with 
numerous outlying detachments under military discipline 
and keeping touch with each other, kept districts which 
had all the elements of disorder and were perhaps 
in fact dominated by dacoit leaders in apparent tran- 
quillity. Sagaing was a notable instance of this. The 
district was covered with posts, but the soldiers hardly 
saw a dacoit, and consequently no progress was made 
in breaking up what was a strongly organized combination 
against our rule. 

The troops, moreover, had learned their work ; they were 
led by trained and zealous officers, who had acquired in 
many cases a minute knowledge of localities which was 
lost with them. The military police, on the other hand, 
were new to the country and the work, and seldom had the 
advantage of being led by trained British officers. The 
effect of the change began to be felt towards the end 
of 1887, and the beginning of 1888 that is to say, in the 
season of the year when life in the forest is dry and 
pleasant, the favourite time for the pastime of dacoity. 
Hence there was no doubt a revival of disorder in some 
places, and the petty disasters which befell the military 
police were magnified and made much of by some corre- 


spondents who found it profitable to misrepresent every- 
thing connected with the administration of Burma. 

The transition stage did not last long. The Indian 
police picked up their work with rapidity. No men could 
have learnt it quicker. They were constantly engaged with 
dacoits ; they frequently followed up and inflicted punish- 
ment on them and recovered property without loss to them- 
selves. The few mistakes were seized upon and magnified 
while the successes vastly greater in number were not noticed. 

In the first orders regarding the military police the mini- 
mum garrison of a post was fixed at twenty-five men. This 
was found to be too weak and was raised to forty, and the 
minimum strength of a patrol was fixed at ten. I found 
it necessary to forbid any new post to be established with- 
out my sanction and to lay down the strength of the mov- 
able column to be maintained in each district. The local 
officers seemed unable to refrain from putting out posts 
until there was not a man left at headquarters. 

In April, 1888, the Viceroy asked me if I saw any sensible 
signs of the reduction of our troops and the substitution 
of the police encouraging the dacoits or loosening our 
hold on the country. After explaining that the districts 
where the dacoits were most active and organized there 
had been no reduction of troops, but, on the contrary, con- 
stant military activity under keen commanders, I wrote : 

" I have carefully watched events and thought over the 
matter, and my conclusion is that the dacoits know that the 
troops have retired and that the police move in small num- 
bers and have taken advantage of the occasion. If this is 
allowed to go on they will get bolder and will give 
trouble. ... I am inclined to sit tight and wait until the men 
have learnt their work. The native officers will learn the 
language and the country. . . . The commissioners and 
district officers like to cover their districts with a perfect net- 
work of posts at short distances from each other. If they 
were allowed their own way there would not be a man left 
to move about. Last August (1887) this was foreseen, and 
the strength of the movable column to be kept for active 
operations in each district was laid down, and orders have 
been given and have been enforced forbidding the formation 
of new posts without my sanction." 



Lord Dufferin accepted my views, saying that he 
would not go into the various considerations which I had 
placed before him, "except to say that I fully appre- 
ciate the calmness and good sense with which you have 
discussed the matter. A more excitable man might 
have gone off at a tangent and have been frightened into 
measures which would certainly have been very expensive 
and might not have been necessary. I have taken the 
Commander-in-Chief into counsel, and after going fully 
and very carefully into the whole matter we are content 
to accept your views." 

There was in point of fact no reason for anxiety. Week 
by week the police improved. The first combined move- 
ment attempted with military police was in the difficult 
Popa country where four small columns under Captain 
Hastings, Commandant of the Myingyan battalion, succeeded 
in running Ya Nyun's gang hard, but did not capture 
him. And in various encounters in this district alone 
the dacoit gangs loss amounted to : killed, 105 ; wounded 
and captured, 29 ; captured, 486. Eighteen ponies were 
taken, 316 firearms, and many dahs and spears. 

The casualties of the military police in Upper Burma, 
during 1888, were 46 killed and 76 wounded, whilst the 
dacoits lost 312 killed (actually counted after action), and 
721 captured. The casualties in the Army in Upper Burma 
between the 1st of May, 1887, and the 31st of March, 
1889, were : killed or died of wounds 60, and wounded 142. 
(Par. 26 of the Despatch of Major-General Sir George White, 
K.C.B., V.C., late Commanding the Upper Burma Force. 
Dated Simla, July 6, 1889.) The police could not have been 
more active than the soldiers had been. They probably 
suffered more in proportion to their numbers owing to 
their inferior training. During the year 1888 the military 
police were in the field constantly in almost every district 
in the province. 

It became evident that we had not a sufficient number 
of British officers ; if a man fell sick or was wounded, 
there was no one to take his place. Sixteen additional 
officers were sanctioned for the police, but they did not 
arrive until after the close of the year. They added much 
to the strength and efficiency of the force. 


On the whole, it became evident before the middle of 
1888 that the police were getting a hold of the province 
and that no danger had been incurred by reducing the 
military garrison and bringing the troops into quarters. 
We had still to rely on the assistance of the soldiers in 
work that belonged more properly to the police. 

Hence in Sagaing, Magwe, the Chindwin district, and 
some other places where the insurgents showed special 
activity, I was compelled in some cases to ask for aid 
If it was sought unwillingly, it was given most readily 
by the Major-General commanding, and was invaluable. 
The civil administration was not yet able to stand alone. 
It was not so much the rank and file but the many British 
officers, keen and experienced, whose withdrawal was 
felt ; for it will be remembered each police battalion had 
at the most two British officers, while very few districts 
had an area of less than three thousand square miles. 

As an example of the invaluable aid rendered by the 
soldiers, two of the most noted leaders on the Ava side, 
Shwe Yan and Bo Tok, who had been the scourge of 
the country since the annexation, fell to parties of British 
Infantry. Bo Tok was killed by Mounted Infantry of 
the Eifle Brigade led by Major Sir Bartle Frere, and a 
few months later, Lieutenant Minogue, with some Mounted 
Infantry of the Eoyal Munster Fusiliers, ran down Shwe 
Yan. The deaths of these two men, who kept the borders 
of Ava, Myingyan, and Kyauksfc in a ferment, enabled 
the civil power to bring this country into order in a short 

The military police, however, took their full share of 
work. A man who had given endless trouble to the troops 
since the annexation and made his lair on the east side 
of the Kyauksk district was the Setkya leader. He was 
attacked by the Kyaukse military police under Captain 
Gastrell, Commandant of the Mandalay battalion, and 
his band dispersed. The Setkya escaped, but he was caught 
and delivered up by the Shan Sawbwa of Lawksawk. After 
his defeats on former occasions he had found a safe refuge 
in the Shan hills. The Shan leaders were now our loyal 
subjects, and the Setkya's career came to an end. 


IN another direction there was a still greater change than 
the substitution of police for troops. From being an 
isolated administration hardly able to look up from our own 
affairs, and obliged to work in detail, district by district, to 
establish a beginning of order, Burma was rapidly becoming 
a frontier province, with daily extending boundaries. I 
was occupied in this year with framing the administration 
of the Shan States, which had been visited by Mr. Hilde- 
brand and Mr. Hugh Daly,* with our relations to Eastern 
Karenni, with the Trans- Sal ween States and the Siamese 
claims on that border. The distant region to the north of 
Bhamo had been occupied for the first time, and it was 
becoming evident that we should have to reckon with the 
Kachins in the north and north-east ; while the eastern 
frontier of Upper Burma resting up against the great mass 
of mountains which stretch down from Manipur to the Bay 
of Bengal, was begininng to demand attention. 

There had been hitherto no leisure and no need to give 
much thought to the tribes of Chins and others inhabiting 
these hills. It had been suggested at an early period that 
Burma should send a party through the Chin country to 
meet another from the Bengal side, with the design of open- 
ing up communication from east to west and making a 
through road. 

I was opposed to this project, and besought the Viceroy to 
disallow it. I looked upon it as a certain way of rousing the 

* Lieut.-Colonel Sir Hugh Daly, K.C.I.E., C.S.I., Resident in 



Chins before we were ready to deal with them. A few days 
before the end of 1887 Lord Dufferin telegraphed his agree- 
ment with my view. In a letter which followed, he wrote : 
" When the idea was originally proposed, I allowed the 
matter to be taken in hand with some hesitation, as I felt 
that it would probably prove a premature endeavour, and I 
saw no special reason for embarking on luxurious enterprises 
of the kind while the main work on which we are engaged 
is still incomplete. For God's sake let us get Burma proper 
quiet before we stir up fresh chances of trouble and collision 
in outlying districts." 

Of the wisdom of this doctrine there was no doubt. And 
no one could have been more anxious to avoid new diffi- 
culties than I was. The Chins, however, forced our hands, 
and before the rains of 1888 it was clear that it would be 
impossible to ignore them. It was foreseen from the first 
that the occupation of Upper Burma must bring us into 
conflict with half-savage or altogether savage tribes who 
occupied the mountains on three sides of the province ; and 
no doubt when it was decided to annex the kingdom the 
responsible authorities had this matter in their minds. 

From the first occupation of Mogaung the isolation of that 
post and the difficulty of reinforcing it, especially in the 
rains, was a source of disquiet. I had lost no time in asking 
that some mountain guns should be attached to the Mogaung 
battalion of military police, and that a survey for an extension 
of the railway to the north of the province should be under- 
taken. The guns were readily granted. To give life to the 
railway project several departments in India had to be 
persuaded, notably Finance and Public Works. When 
their consent had been obtained the Government of India 
had to move the Secretary of State to sanction the work 
and to grant the money for it. The survey was started in 
1890, and some progress, which may be characterized with- 
out injustice as deliberate, had been made before I 
surrendered Burma to my successor in December of that 
year. The line to Myitkyina, three hundred and thirty-one 
miles, was opened in 1895. 

These frontier matters have been dealt with in separate 
chapters of this book. They are referred to here to show 
the change which had come over the province. The area 


of administration was extending rapidly more rapidly than 
our resources in men. 

Before the end of 1888 the interior of the province ceased 
to give much cause for anxiety, although it cannot be 
described as altogether restful. Daylight had appeared in 
the districts of the Northern and Central Divisions, where 
the outlook had been darkest. And in some of the 
southern districts, Minbu and Myingyan (in which was now 
included Pagan), and in Pakokku, as well as in the whole of 
the Eastern Division, the disturbances had ceased or were 
confined to difficult forest tracks in which the remaining 
gangs had taken refuge. 

The Mag we district, as it was now called (the township 
on the left bank of the river, which had before belonged to 
Minbu, had been transferred to the Taungdwingyi district, 
and the headquarters moved to the river town of Magwe), 
was a source of trouble and sorrow. Nothing seemed to 
succeed there. Sir Robert Low's warning that this would 
be the last stronghold of dacoity or organized resistance was 
justified by events. 

The British public were becoming very weary of Burma 
and even of the abuse heaped upon the local government of 
the province. Tormented by the questions in Parliament, 
the Secretary of State would order us every now and then to 
report how we were getting on, like a child that has planted 
a flower and pulls it up occasionally to make sure that 
it is alive. Nevertheless those on the spot were not dis- 
heartened. The work had to be done, and all were 
determined to do it. Personally I had encouragement from 
every one in the province, civilian or soldier, for whose 
opinion I cared. Lord Dufferin's kindness and support 
were never wanting. He understood well the nature of the 
task. He was satisfied with the work done, and his con- 
fidence in our success was firm. 

Writing to me on April 2, 1888, he expressed his satis- 
faction with our work and with what had been done, in 
terms which are too flattering to be repeated by me. 

The constant recurrence of small encounters, small suc- 
cesses, and occasionally small disasters, was very wearisome 
at the time to all of us, and would be as fatiguing to the 
reader as to me to relate. I will give the history of some 


cases, which will be enough to explain how the province 
settled down. It will be remembered that the Village 
Regulation became law in October, 1887. It took some 
time to get the district officers, magistrates as well as 
police, to make themselves acquainted with it, and still 
longer to induce some of them to make use of its provisions. 

In the summer of 1888 the country generally had im- 
proved much. Few of the big Bos, or leaders of gangs, 
were left. But in some districts there was not merely a 
system of brigandage; it was a system, a long-established 
system, of government by brigands. The attacks on 
villages, the murder and torture of headmen and their 
families, were not so much the symptoms of rebellion 
against our Government as of the efforts made by the 
brigands to crush the growing revolt against their tyranny. 

Hence it came about that in districts where there was 
little activity on the part of British officers, and where 
the chief civil officer failed to get information, very little 
was heard of the dacoits, simply because the people were 
paying their tribute to the leaders, who did not need to use 

Sagaing was one of the worst districts in this respect. It 
had been under the domination of brigands for years before 
Thebaw was dethroned. It was held by a score of dacoit 
leaders, who had a thousand men armed with guns at their 
call. Each had his own division, in and on which he and 
his men lived, leaving the villagers alone so long as they 
paid their dues, and punishing default or defection with 
a ruthless and savage cruelty that might have made a 
North American Indian in his worst time weep for human 
nature. It was brought home to us by hard facts that 
the question was whether the British Government, or what 
may be called the Bo Government, were to be masters. 
The people were, everything considered, wonderfully well 
off. They found our officers ready to accept their excuses 
and to remit taxation, or, at the worst, to enforce a mild 
process of distraint or detention against defaulters. On 
.lie other side were the Bos, with fire and sword, and 
worse if their demands were refused or if aid in any form 
was given to the foreigners. If the people would have 
given us information, the dacoit system could have been 


broken up in a very short time. As they would not, the 
only course open was to make them fear us more than 
the dacoits. 

In Sagaing no measures hitherto taken had made any 
visible improvement. Persuasion had been tried. The 
display of a strong military force occupying the country 
in numerous posts had no effect. The soldiers seldom 
saw or heard of a dacoit. The experiment was made of 
allowing influential local Burman officials to raise a force 
of armed Burman police on whom they could depend. This 
succeeded in some cases. But on the whole it failed. The 
Burmans gave up their guns to the first gang that came 
for them, or allowed them to be stolen. We could not 
afford to arm the enemy. I came to the conclusion that 
the Deputy Commissioner would never get his district into 

Colonel Symons, working with Mr. Carter, had done very 
good service in reducing the troublesome country of Pagyi 
in the Lower Chindwin into order (see p. 85). I asked 
Sir George White to let me have Colonel Symons's help 
again. He readily agreed. I sent him, with Mr. Carter, 
to put Sagaing in order, giving Mr. Carter full powers 
under the Village Regulation and ample magisterial powers, 
but reserving the ordinary administrative work to the 
Deputy Commissioner. At the same time, Mr. Herbert 
Browning, Assistant Commissioner, was posted to the Ava 
subdivision to work with Captain Knox, of the 4th 
Hyderabad Cavalry. 

The Sagaing military police battalion was placed under 
Colonel Symons's orders, and thus unity of command was 

Captain Baikes was at this time acting as Commissioner 
of the Central Division, in the absence of Mr. Fryer, who 
had taken leave. Captain Raikes was a man who knew 
Burma well, and was keen and energetic in his work. 
He came to the conclusion, and Colonel Symons agreed 
with him, that the severest pressure must be put on the 

A great obstacle in our way was, as has been said, the 
refusal of the villagers to assist us. But an equal obstacle 
was their zeal in giving assistance and information to the 


brigands. The powers of the Village Regulation had been 
used elsewhere, under my instructions, to remove persons 
who gave assistance in any way to the dacoits, and with 
excellent effect. The proposals now made to me by Colonel 
Symons and Captain Raikes went beyond anything hitherto 
done. They represented that so long as the relatives and 
sympathisers of the brigands remained in their villages, no 
progress was possible. The gangs would be fed and fur- 
nished with immediate news of the movements of police 
or troops, while no assistance would be given to us. The 
people themselves told our officers that they could not help 
us. If they did, the dacoits' relatives informed against them 
and their lives were taken. Hardly a day passed without 
some murder of this kind. 

It was proposed, therefore, to issue a proclamation to all 
villages believed to be in league with the dacoits, informing 
them that unless the men belonging to the village who were 
out dacoiting surrendered within a fixed time, all their rela- 
tions and sympathisers would be ordered to leave the village 
and would be removed to some distant place out of reach of 
communication. At first the people thought this was a 
mere threat, and little notice was taken of it. When they 
found that it was to be enforced, and that the relations and 
friends were actually being deported, the effect was magical. 
Concurrently with this action the dacoit gangs were hunted 
incessantly from jungle to jungle and village to village, and 
severe fines were imposed on villages which harboured the 
outlaws or withheld information regarding their movements. 

The results were better than I had dared to hope. Many 
dacoits surrendered in order to save their people from being 
removed. The villagers came forward with information, and 
put police and soldiers on to the tracks of the gangs. Small 
parties of dacoits could no longer move about without 
danger of being attacked and captured by the people they 
had preyed upon so long. Whole bodies of men came in 
and surrendered with their arms. At the end of 1888 few 
members of the Sagaing gangs were at large, and the 
district was reduced to order. In Ava the success was 
similar ; and the districts of Yeu Shwebo and the Lower 
Chindwin had likewise benefited from Colonel Symons's 


The credit of devising this system is due to Colonel 
Eaikes. I hesitated at first to go as far as he advised. 
There were obvious reasons against moving people in this 
manner ; but, if it was easy to see objections to it, it was 
very difficult to devise a milder measure that would be 
successful. It proved the most effective weapon in our 
battery for the restoration of peace and order. The people, 
of course, felt the pressure of these coercive measures. It 
was intended that they should feel it. One of the most 
notorious leaders in the Sagaing Division, Min 0, after 
his capture, declared the fining under the Village Regula- 
tion had ruined him, because the villagers, finding themselves 
unable to meet both the Government demands and his, and 
finding that the Government could enforce payment while 
he no longer could, turned upon him and refused to give 
him asylum. The moving and grouping of villages made 
it difficult for the gangs to get food, and compelled them 
to disband or surrender. 

The Gazetteer of Burma, in the article on Sagaing (vol. ii., 
p. 188), published in 1908, records that " the strict observ- 
ance of the Village [Regulation . . . gradually led to the 
pacification of the country. By the end of 1888 no less 
than twenty-six dacoit leaders, including Shwe Yan, had 
been killed and twenty-six captured, and most of their 
followers had come in and were disarmed. Since that time 
the district has given no trouble." 


rPHE disorder in the Minbu district was similar to that 
J_ in Sagaing, but I doubt if it had been of such long 

It differed in other respects from Sagaing. In that dis- 
trict the Bos formed a confederation. Each had his own 
village or district, from which he drew his supplies, and 
his exclusive rights which the others recognized. They 
communicated with each other and were ready to join forces 
when it was necessary. In Minbu the government was 
more autocratic, and centralized in the hands of Oktama, 
who had seven or eight lieutenants under his orders. There 
was also another point of difference. The leaders in 
Sagaing and generally elsewhere, were local men, and for 
the most part professional robbers. Oktama had been 
a Pongyi some years before, in a monastery a few miles 
north-west of Minbu. He professed to have a commission 
from some obscure prince, but laid no claim to royal blood. 

He made his first appearance in Minbu in February, 1886, 
and induced the headmen of many villages to join him. 

The people at this time were like sheep without a shep- 
herd. They had heard of the destruction of the wolf they 
knew, and to whose ways they had become accustomed. Of 
the new-comers, the Kalas, or barbarians, they had had no 
experience, and they had as yet no reason to believe in their 
power to protect them. Naturally, therefore, they looked 
about for some one to help them to work together in their 
own defence. 

Oktama no doubt had a capacity for organization and 
command, and the people recognized him as a leader of 
men ; otherwise it is difficult to conceive how in so short 



a time he secured their allegiance. His attack on Sagu, 
a town on the right bank of the Irrawaddy nearly opposite 
Magwe, has been mentioned before. He burnt the town, 
which was held by a handful of troops, and then laid siege 
to Salin with a force said to have numbered five thousand 
men. The deaths of the two British officers in action 
against him increased his prestige, and from that time 
until a few weeks before his capture on the 20th of July, 
1889, he was at the head of a large confederacy which had 
more power in Minbu than the British. 

Oktama assumed the title of Commissioner (Mingyi), and 
created a regular system of government. He had five 
lieutenants under him, to whom defined portions of the 
country were entrusted. His intelligence department was 
perfect. If the British troops showed a sign of movement, 
warning was sent from village to village and reached 
Oktama in time for him to shift his camp. The organiza- 
tion was very strong. It could not have lived and grown as 
it did if my officers in Minbu had not been weak, and 
their rule "placidius quarn feroci provincia dignum." They 
were not of the stuff that can bring a turbulent people 
to submission. 

When I was at Minbu, in the early part of the year, 
I wished to march through the district and speak to 
the people. Both the Commissioner and the Brigadier- 
General, Sir Robert Low, strongly opposed my wish, as 
they thought it likely that my party would be fired on, the 
effect of which would be bad. However, I gave my 
instructions regarding the measures to be taken. 

In the June following I rode through the valley of the 
Mon. The country seemed to me prosperous and well 
cultivated; betel-vine gardens and plantations of bananas 
were frequent near the villages, and I saw no sign of 
distress or armed disorder. 

Nevertheless the people were even then under the feet 
of the dacoits. I changed the district officials as soon as 

The improvement of the district dated from the appoint- 
ment as Deputy Commissioner of Mr. H. S. Hartnoll, who 
brought to the work the necessary energy, activity, and 
judgment. He was assisted by Mr. G. G. Collins and 


Mr. W. A. Hertz, who were as zealous and active as their 
chief. In May, 1888, being assured that the people were 
getting weary of the brigands, I issued a proclamation 
offering a free pardon to all the rank and file on condition 
that they surrendered and engaged to live peaceably in their 
villages. The leaders, eight in number, were excepted by 
name. They were to be pursued until they were captured 
or killed. 

As two years and a half had elapsed since the annexation, 
the fact that Burma was part of the British Empire must 
have penetrated to the most remote village. Warning, 
therefore, was given that the full rigour of the law would 
be enforced against all who were taken fighting against 
the Government, or who aided or abetted the leaders 
excepted from pardon. The terms of this proclamation 
were explained to the headmen and villagers assembled 
at suitable places, and the severe penalties that would 
follow disobedience were explained to them. A period of 
one month was allowed for surrenders, and the pursuit of 
the gangs was pressed unceasingly all through the rains 
and open season of 1888-9. 

The sequel I will give in Mr. Hartnoll's words : 

" His [Oktama's] power ^had gradually grown less and 
less from time to time, but the difficulty has always been 
to get information of him and his leaders. The villagers 
would give no aid or information. They began to turn 
at the beginning of this year (1889) when certain fines 
were imposed on the worst of the villages, yet they did 
not give us all the help they could. In April, though his 
power was much broken and many of his lieutenants killed 
and captured, yet he had a fairly strong gathering; and 
Maung Ya Baw, Maung Kan Thi, Oktaya, Nga Kin, and 
Byaing Gyi were still to the fore. 

"From May 1st the relations of dacoits were removed from 
their villages and a fortnightly fine imposed on all harbour- 
ing villages. On this the villagers gave him up. He and 
all his principal men except Maung Kin are dead or 
captured. He had at the end only one boy with him. . . . 

" Our success has been entirely achieved by bringing 
the villagers to our side by imposing a periodical general 
fine on them until they helped us, by removing the 


relations and sympathizers of the dacoits, by holding 
certain points fairly close together throughout the district 
till the leader troubling the point held was caught, and 
by having constant parties of troops and police always on 
the move." 

The capture of 6ktama was effected in this wise. Maung 
An Taw Ni, an Upper Burman, the township officer of 
Legaing, a little town with a population of about three 
thousand people, some fifteen miles north-west of Minbu, 
received information that the dacoit chief was near the 
Chaungdawya Pagoda, a short way from Legaing. Maung 
An Taw Ni, who had borne a very active part in all the 
measures taken against the dacoits, started at once with 
some military police. They came upon Oktama sitting 
despairingly by the pagoda with only one follower. It 
was a tragic picture. When Burmans shall paint historical 
scenes for the galleries at Rangoon or Mandalay, or write 
on the events following the fall of their king, " Oktama 
at the Golden Pagoda" will be a favourite theme for 
ballad or drama (pyazat). 

Another example of dacoity in Upper Burma may be 
taken from the Myingyan district. I will give the case of 
Ya Nyun, which gained some notoriety at the time. It 
is remarkable also for the fact that Ya Nyun is probably 
the last great leader who is still alive. And that he 
owes his life to the extraordinary conduct of some very 
subordinate officials, who, in the loyal desire, it may be 
supposed, to secure his apprehension, took upon themselves 
to induce him by vague words to hope for his life if he 
surrendered. It is certain that no man in Burma ever 
deserved to be hung more than Ya Nyun. If the voice 
of the blood of the murdered cries from the ground, the 
cries for vengeance must still be echoing through the 
villages and woods round Popa. 

Ya Nyun was the Myingaung (literally Captain of the 
Horse) of the Welaung sub-district of Myingyan, bound 
at call to furnish one hundred mounted men to the king's 
army. He had thirty headmen of villages under him. 
His father, who had been Myingaung before him, was a 
murderer and a scoundrel. He had been dismissed by 
King Mindon's Government and tattooed as a bad character 




with the Burmese words meaning: "Beware, cease to do 
evil," on his forearm.* The son, however, was at Court 
a hanger-on of the Yaw Mingyi, one of the big ministers. 
He obtained his father's post. He returned to Welaung 
and kept a large following of thieves and robbers, and 
lived on the people. 

His oppression became intolerable, and two years before 
the war a deputation of the Thugyis (village headmen) 
went up to Mandalay to beg protection, but as the Taingda 
Mingyi, the most powerful and the worst man about the 
Court, took Ya Nyun's part, they could get no redress. Two 
years afterwards a second deputation was sent, and Ya 
Nyun was summoned to Mandalay. The matter was under 
inquiry when the British advance became known. There- 
upon Ya Nyun was decorated with a gold umbrella 
(equivalent to a K.C.B.) and sent back to Welaung to 
fight against the British. So far his case resembles, to 
some extent, that of Bo Swe, who was, however, a gallant 
gentleman and an honest citizen beside Ya Nyun. 

His first step was to gather around him his former followers, 
and he started with about fifty ruffians as the leaders and 
stiffening of his gang. They had to live, and his methods 
were the same as those of other dacoit leaders. Money and 
food and women were demanded from the villages, and 
those who refused supplies were unmercifully punished, 
their property seized, their villages burnt, their women 
dishonoured, and their cattle driven off by hundreds. 
Those who in any way assisted the troops were the objects 
of special barbarities. If they could not be caught, their 
fathers or brothers were taken. One of his followers 
deposed that he was with Ya Nyun when three men who 
were related to a man who had assisted the British were 
ordered to be crucified in front of the camp. He says : "I 
saw the bodies after they were crucified, t They were 
crucified alive and then shot, their hearts cut open," &c. 
In another case " five men were caught. Nga Ke [one 

* This was the Burman substitute for finger-prints. I have often 
seen men who have endeavoured to cut the brand out of the flesh. 

f The usual practice was to kill the man and then tie the body to 
a bamboo railing, with the arms and legs stretched out. 


of Ya Nyun's men] rode over them as they lay bound, and 
then shot them." 

An Indian washerman, belonging, if I remember right, 
to the Rifle Brigade, straggled from a column on the march. 
This same witness, who acted as a clerk or secretary on 
Ya Nyun's staff, kept a diary and wrote letters and orders, 
goes on : " Ya Nyun ordered Aung Bet to cut a piece out 
of the Indian's thigh, morning and evening, and give it 
to him to eat. The flesh was fried. This was done three 
days. Six pieces were cut out, then Ya Nyun ordered him to 
be killed. He was killed. I saw all this with my own eyes." 

The ill-treatment of women by these gangs was not 
unknown. Sometimes they were taken and ill-treated as 
a punishment to the village which had set at naught 
the Bo's order. Sometimes they were taken as concubines 
for Ya Nyun and his comrades. There is one case on 
record where seven young girls were selected from a village 
" on account of their youth," and after the dacoits had 
ill-used them, five were deliberately slaughtered for fear 
of their giving information. Two escaped. This occurred 
in January, 1890. The remains of the five girls were found 
in the jungle afterwards by our men. 

The Deputy Commissioner, who examined 136 witnesses 
as to the doings of Ya Nyun's gang, concluded his inquiry 
in these words : 

" A perusal of the evidence shows that the organization, 
which had, perhaps, its first origin in a desire to resist 
the British Government, degenerated rapidly, as might have 
been expected from the disreputable persons who played 
the part of leaders, into a band of marauders who subsisted 
by terrorism, rapine, murder, dacoity, and other outrages. 
While remaining in open defiance of Government, they 
soon ceased to be political rebels, in any respectable sense, 
though they occasionally gathered in sufficient numbers 
to resist the troops or police, even so late as February, 1889. 
They showed no more mercy to their own countrymen 
than to foreigners. They can have no claim to the title of 
patriots, but merely to that of damya, dacoit, the title 
invariably applied to them by their own countrymen." 

So wrote the Deputy Commissioner who made the 
inquiry in 1890. Ya Nyun has been in the Andamans 


ever since. I have been told that he has shown there 
a capacity for command, and is in charge of a gang of 
convicts. Then by all means let him stay where he is 
useful and harmless. 

I have given the history of Ya Nyun's rise to power 
and some indications of the nature of his gang. In 1887 
to 1888 it was frequently encountered by troops and police, 
and was more than once roughly treated, but the wilderness 
around Popa afforded a shelter from which the small 
and scattered parties of dacoits could not be driven. 

In March and April, 1888, a series of combined operations 
was organized. Four columns of military police acted under 
Captain Hastings, Commandant of the Myingyan battalion. 
Several of Ya Nyun's men * were killed and many captured. 

In the autumn murders, accompanied in some cases 
with atrocious cruelties, began again. Early in 1889 Ya 
Nyun, collecting several other leaders, mustered a strong 
force, and occupied a position near his own village of 
Welaung. A body of military police failed to dislodge 
him, and although the gang was met soon after by a party 
of the Eifle Brigade, and dispersed with heavy loss, the 
power of the organization was not destroyed. 

After these events an experienced officer, with powers 
extending to all the country in which Ya Nyun and his 
accomplices acted, was given control of the operations 
against the brigands. At his suggestion a pardon was 
offered to Ya Nyun if he would surrender. I consented 
with much reluctance, but it seemed better to free the 
country from misery at any price. The man would not 
avail himself of it. Throughout the rains he and his men 
were more active than usual, and their raids were marked 
by more wanton cruelty and bloodshed than before; a 
symptom, as I have said before, that the people were becom- 
ing less submissive to the dacoits, who on their part were 
striving to retain their hold on them. 

As little substantial progress was being made, I went to 
the Popa subdivision in January, 1890. I called up an 

* Ya Nyun himself on this occasion had a narrow escape. His 
dah, or sword, was taken and presented to me by the officers and men 
of the Myingyan battalion. It is a handsome weapon, and was, I believe, 
presented to Ya Nyun by village headmen of the Yamethin district. 



additional police force and saw that the utmost pressure 
was put, under the Village Kegulation, upon the villages 
which harboured and assisted the dacoits. Some success 
against the smaller leaders followed, but at the end of 
April all the greater men, ten in number, for whose capture 
rewards had been offered, were still at large. 

In the middle of April the Commissioner, Mr Symes 
(the late Sir E. Symes), advised that the time had come 
for adopting the procedure followed so successfully in 
Sagaing, Minbu, and elsewhere. This was done. Proclama- 
tions were issued much in the same terms as those used 
in other districts, offering pardon to the rank and file, and 
warning all concerned that villages assisting the gangs 
would be severely fined, and that sympathizers and relatives 
would be deported to a distance. The rewards offered for 
the capture of the leaders were doubled. 

The success was extraordinary. The whole dacoit organi- 
zation fell to pieces. It collapsed as a tiger shot in the 
head falls in his tracks. On the 30th of May, 1890, Ya 
Nyun surrendered. Eleven of his lieutenants or comrades 
had fallen in action, and forty-two men of note surrendered 
with him. 

One very influential leader of the bands in the Myingyan 
district, whose name was well known in the years preceding, 
was not caught. Bo Cho had not shown himself since 
1888, and was reported to have disappeared. He lay low 
until 1896, when he managed to get together some men 
and began his old game. But in 1896 the Government 
knew what to do and did it. An officer with sufficient 
military police was at once appointed and empowered to 
take action against him, the provisions of the Village 
Kegulation were put into effect, and in a few days he 
was a prisoner. He was not given an opportunity for 
further mischief. 


I HAVE alluded several times to the Magwe district. It 
was in a very bad state and was a blot on the adminis- 
tration, which gave me much thought. This district was 
called Taungdwingyi at first, and took the name of Magwe 
when the subdivision of that name lying along the left 
of the river was added to it. It was not until the end 
of 1888 that it began to be very troublesome. The leader 
of most influence at first was Min Yaung, who was killed 
by a party of troops in May, 1887. Another leader, Tokgyi, 
rose afterwards and gave much trouble, but he was captured 
in April, 1888. It seemed that no formidable leaders re- 
mained. Small raids and dacoities occurred here, as in 
most parts of the province, at that time. The revenue 
collections had increased largely, which was a good sign. 

In August, 1888, however, a pretender with the title of the 
Shwekinyo Prince raised his standard, and was joined by 
a noted dacoit Bo Le and others. They hatched their plots 
in a place on the border of the Magwe township, and began 
work in November, 1888. Unfortunately, everything in this 
district was unfortunate, at the very commencement the 
gang under Bo Le encountered a party of thirty mounted 
men of the Magwe battalion, under a British Inspector of 
Police. The police were badly handled, and lost seven 
killed and two wounded, while six rifles and three ponies 
were taken by the dacoits. This gave the gang encourage- 
ment, while the police, who had not much cohesion, were 
for a time somewhat shaken. [See p. 96.] 

After this event the gangs separated, probably because 
the country could not feed them, and took up points at a 
distance from each other. In January, 1889, some of the 


leaders joining hands again, surprised a party of the Myin- 
gyan police, and inflicted some loss on them, but were soon 
afterwards punished by Mounted Infantry from Magwe. 

Throughout March and April, the pursuit was kept up 
with varying success. At last in May, the Mounted 
Infantry got on to their tracks, killed Bo Le, and dispersed 
the gang. 

Hitherto the brigands had confined themselves to the 
west and north-west of the district, open dry country 
with a good deal of waste land offering a good field for 
the action of mounted troops. 

After a time the Taungdwingyi subdivision also became 
disturbed, and dacoities became frequent. The conditions 
on the eastern side of the district were different. The 
hills known as the Pegu Yomas run along the eastern 
boundary dividing Magw& from Pyinmana for about sixty 
or seventy miles; from the Thayetmyo boundary on the 
south, to some distance beyond Natmauk on the north. 
From Natmauk the hills gradually diminish and slope 
away to the plains. The slopes of the Yomas are 
densely wooded, and between the Magwe boundary and 
the low country to the east there was much teak forest 
worked by the Bombay Burma Company. At that time there 
was also a good growth of the Acacia Catechu, and many 
of the Burmans employed in extracting cutch lived in the 
forests, and cultivated small cleared plots here and there. 
The richest villages and best rice-producing land in the 
district lay along the low lands at the foot of the Yomas, 
within raiding distance. No dacoit could have wished 
for better conditions, especially when an inefficient 
district officer and a poorly commanded police battalion 
were added. 

At this period of the campaign I had lost by sickness 
and death some of the best and most experienced men. 
The strength of the Commission all told was not enough 
for the necessities of the province in its then state. I was 
compelled to place districts in charge of men who were 
unfit owing to inexperience and want of training. 

It is a fact of which we may all be proud that the 
average young English gentleman when thrown into 
conditions which demand from him courage, energy, and 


judgment, and the power of governing, answers to the 
call. Whether he comes from a good school or university, 
or from his regiment, from the sea or the ranch, whether 
he has come through the competitive system or has 
obtained his appointment by other means, he will in the 
majority of cases be found capable, and sometimes 
conspicuously able. It is necessary, however, that he should 
be taught and trained in his work. The Magw& district 
was in itself not specially hard to manage, not nearly so 
difficult as many others in Upper Burma. It was in 
charge of a junior man of the Indian Civil Service, 
clever but not very wise. 

As it was necessary to take special measures against 
the Yoma gangs, an officer, who had been ten years in 
the police in Lower Burma and had done excellently in 
the adjacent district of Thayetmyo, was appointed to 
work on similar lines in Taungdwingyi. 

He was in this matter independent of the Deputy 
Commissioner, who, although senior to him in the 
Commission, was much his junior in years and experience. 
One of the chief duties assigned to him was the removal 
of villages from which dacoits received their supplies. He 
removed those lying nearest the hills which harboured 
the brigands. No doubt the gangs were inconvenienced 
and exasperated by this measure. In April, 1889, the 
village of Myothit was attacked and the police post burnt. 
In May a large body of dacoits under the standard of 
Buddha Yaza, a pretended prince, who in preceding years 
had a large following in the Eastern Division, gathered 
in the Pin township in the north of the district east of 
Yenangyaung. A party of military police led by two 
Indian officers attacked them successfully, but they 
collected again in a stronger position and a second 
attack by one hundred rifles (military police), led by the 
Assistant Comissioner and the Assistant Superintendent of 
Police, neither of them trained soldiers, failed ; but soon 
afterwards the gangs were again met and dispersed. 

On the 1st of June, 1889, a small body of dacoits was 
encountered by Mr. Dyson, Assistant Comissioner, who 
had with him a party of police. A fight ensued, in which 
Mr. Dyson was killed. The man who led this gang 


was killed afterwards and his followers surrendered. But 
this was no compensation for the loss of a promising 
young officer who could be ill spared.* 

There was a force of police in the district quite able to 
hold it, if they had been properly handled, and they were 
supported by Mounted Infantry. There was evidently a 
want of some controlling authority which was not to be 
found in any of the local officers. Just at this time Colonel 
W. Penn Symons, who had been working in Sagaing, suc- 
ceeded to the command of the Myingyan district, and at 
my earnest invitation he went to Magwe and assumed 
control over the operations for reducing the district to 
order. All civil and police officers were placed under 
General Symons absolutely so far as the operations were 

A proclamation was then issued offering a pardon to all 
who were out, excepting only those who had committed 
murder and certain named leaders, on condition that they 
submitted and returned to a peaceful life. This proclama- 
tion had some effect, and more than 150 dacoits surrendered 
with their arms. Most of the men who came in belonged 
to the Pin and Yenangyaung townships. 

In July (1889) I was able to devote a fortnight to this 
troublesome district and to meet General Symons at 
Magwe. With him and some of the local officials I marched 
round the district, going from Magwe to Taungdwingyi, and 
then up the east to the north, ending at Yenangyaung on 
the north-west. 

I found the country in a better condition than the reports 
of crime had led me to expect. Going north from Taung- 
dwingyi a good deal of land was lying untilled. But else- 
where every possible field was ploughed and sown, and 
cattle were plentiful and in good case. This part of the 
district was a fine open country divided into big fields with 
thorn hedges. There were, however, here and there tracts 
of very difficult scrub jungle broken by ravines from which 
it would be difficult to drive dacoit gangs. 

* Mr. Dyson had come to us from the Public Works Department. 
He had been employed in the Ava subdivision of Sagaing and had 
shown himself keen and energetic, but he was still very inexperienced 
in this sort of work. 


I had the principal men collected to meet me at all the 
halting-places and had much consultation with them. The 
people came readily with their petitions and spoke with 
perfect frankness of their grievances. 

As a problem in administration the conditions differed 
much from those hitherto dealt with. In Sagaing, Minbu, 
and elsewhere, the lawlessness was universal and chronic. 
In Magwe the gangs were small and consisted mainly of 
professional criminals, not of peasants who had joined 
well-known leaders either to save their own lives and 
property or to resist the establishment of a foreign Govern- 
ment. Some of the leaders even were well-known outlaws 
from Lower Burma, and it was asserted that there were 
natives of India with the gangs. But only in one case was 
this substantiated. A native of India, a man of the sweeper 
caste, had been captured and he was in the Magwe jail. A 
note written a few days after I had left Magwe will give 
the impressions I brought away from my tour. 

" The two main difficulties are the bad state of the 
Police Battalion and the nature of the country on the north 
and on the east of the district. These were aggravated by 
the injudicious action on the part of the subdivisional 
officer, for which I must take my share of the blame as I 
selected him and trusted him fully in consequence of his 
great success elsewhere. In his desire to force the dacoits 
to leave the slopes of the mountains, he moved villages too 
far from their fields and did not show a proper care and 
judgment in selecting the temporary sites for them to 
occupy. It was said that men joined the dacoit gangs in 
consequence. It may have been so in a few instances. 
The people spoke to me frankly and freely, and they did 
not allege this. Still, it may be true. I debated much 
with myself whether I should say, ' Go back at once to your 
old sites.' This would have pleased all. . . . All the 
headmen I saw admitted that the villages moved were 
those which added and fed the dacoits, and they admitted 
unreservedly that if they returned they must continue to 
aid and feed them. General Symons was of opinion that 
the removal of these villages would prove of the greatest 
assistance in capturing the gangs. The mischief for that 
season had been caused and some of the more distant lands 


must lie empty. To let the people return now (July) was 
useless, while it would prolong our work. 

" Their argument was, ' There are fewer dacoits now 
than there used to be even in the King's time. We prefer 
dacoits to inconvenience and hardship.' " 

That was their attitude everywhere, and if peace was to 
be established we could not accept it. I removed the 
incompetent officers and sent the best officer I had at my 
disposal (the late Mr. Todd Naylor) to take charge of the 
district. At the same time a competent Commandant was 
posted to the military police battalion. 

General Symons undertook to remain in the district for 
another month. Minbu had been cleared of the gangs 
which had harassed it so long, and I was able to transfer 
Mr. G. G. Collins to Magwe to help Mr. Todd Naylor. 

Having put matters in train, my duties took me to Man- 
dalay and then up the Chindwin to arrange matters con- 
nected with the coming expedition against the Chins. 
General Symons was appointed to command the Chin- 
Lushai expedition, and Magwe had to be left to the local 
officers. Progress was slow. The dacoits lay up in the 
forests of the Yomas, and until they were driven out and 
destroyed there would be no peace. 

For the last three months of the year my health com- 
pelled me to take leave to the Nilgiri Hills. There was no 
hill station in Burma at that time. The climate varying 
between a stokehole and a fern-house was not invigorating, 
and labour, physical and mental, such as we were all sus- 
taining was somewhat exhausting. 

During my absence Mr. A. P. MacDonnell,* Home 
Secretary to the Government of India, was appointed to 
act for me. He took up the Magwe business vigorously, 
and under his direction several columns were organized to 
operate simultaneously in the unsettled tract from Yame- 
thin, Pyinmana, Magwe, and Thayetmyo. They com- 
menced work in December, 1889. The party from Magwe 
encountered one of the gangs in the Yomas, but inflicted 
no punishment on them. One leader was driven out and 
captured or killed in the Yamethin district. But there was 
no marked success. The dacoits were able to get food 
* Now Lord MacDonnell, P.O., G.C.S.I. 


anywhere in the forests from the cutch boilers, and it was 
suspected ammunition from the Burman foresters in the 
Bombay Burma Company's service. 

On my return, from leave in December 1889, 1 had the 
great honour of receiving His Eoyal Highness Prince 
Albert Victor of Wales, accompanying him to Mandalay 
by rail and returning by river. This duty necessarily de- 
layed the ordinary work of administration. 

On examining the situation in Magwe, I came to the 
conclusion that the operations in the Yomas must be placed 
under the control of one man. I selected Mr. Porter, 
Deputy Commissioner of Pyinmana, and made the whole 
business over to him with definite instructions as to the 
powers he was to exercise and the course of action he was 
to follow. Tracks had already been cleared through the 
Yomas. The different parties engaged in the work were 
well combined and held together by Mr. Porter. The gangs 
were dispersed and either captured or forced to surrender, 
and by the end of May the work was complete. 

Meanwhile in the north of the district Mr. Todd Naylor 
and Mr. Collins had succeeded in breaking up the small 
gang that still held out under two noted leaders, and the 
district was finally cleared. All the leaders had been 
killed, captured, or driven out of the district. Some sought 
refuge in Lower Burma. One Lugal6gyi, a well-known 
Bo, was arrested in Prome before the end of the year. 
To quote once more from the Gazetteer (1908) : " Since 
then Magwe has been undisturbed " (vol ii., p. 56, 
article "Magw&"). 

I will give one more instance of dacoit methods reported 
to me by the late Mr. Donald Smeaton, then Commissioner 
of the Central Division, dated August 13, 1889, from the 
Pagyi country. Reading it over after the lapse of more than 
twenty years, I am glad that I was able to help in ending 
the anarchy which begat such crimes. Mr. Smeaton wrote : 
" Early in the forenoon of the 18th July I was riding 
back with Lieutenant Macnabb from Kyaw to Zeittaung. 
We were passing the village of Jut about four miles from 
Zeittaung, when we were hailed by a villager and a military 
policeman, who informed us that the village had just been 
dacoited by Saga and a gang of fourteen or fifteen men. 


We at once went into the village and were conducted 
by the Thugyi to the house which had been Saga's principal 
object of attack. We were there informed that this house 
had been singled out by Saga because its owner, Po Hkine, 
one of his late followers, had surrendered with his arms to 
the special officer, that Saga's object had been to kill 
Po Hkine. Fortunately Po Hkine and his wife were 
at Zeittaung when the attack was made. Not finding 
Po Hkine or his wife, Saga had dragged down from the 
house two old women, Po Hkine' s mother and aunt, 
and tortured them by burning parts of their bodies with 
lighted torches. The elder of the two women was severely 
burnt and was lying on the ground : the other was sitting. 
Both were in great pain. We questioned the two women. 
They said the gang had come straight to their house 
shouting out * Saga ! Saga ! ' and on finding that Po 
Hkine was not there had gone up the bamboo steps 
and dragged them to the ground. They then reproached 
them with allowing Po Hkine to surrender and demanded 
all the money and jewelry in the house. The old women 
gave up all their money and their ornaments, but never- 
theless they were tied up, a bamboo mat with a hole cut 
to allow the head to pass through was put over them, and 
two or three of the gang held lighted torches to their backs 
and between their legs. The villagers were too afraid to 
yield any assistance. The women fainted, and the dacoits 
left them lying on the ground. The villagers were doing 
their best to soothe the two women and alleviate the pain 
when we came to the house. 

"I have known of several cases in which women have 
been regularly trussed and suspended over a fire by dacoits 
till they gave up their money and ornaments. 

" I can recall one case in which dacoits pushed wood 
shavings up between a woman's legs and set them on fire. 

" In several cases of this kind that have occurred within 
my own knowledge the unfortunate women have died." 

But I must have surfeited the reader with robberies 
and murders and savage cruelties. My purpose has been 
to draw a true picture of the conditions with which we had 
to deal. There may be some who think that stern mea- 
surer of repression are wrong and that under all conditions 


kindness and forbearance should be the only weapons 
of a civilized Government. It is to be wished that such 
persons could have an opportunity of testing their theories 
without danger to any but themselves. 

It is well, however, to record as a matter of history that, 
so far as was pacticable, the rank and file of those who joined 
insurgent or brigand gangs were treated leniently. They 
were freely pardoned, if they had not committed murder, 
on condition that they surrendered with their arms and 
engaged to live quietly in their villages. Where it was 
necessary and possible, work was provided for them. When 
I left Burma there were thousands who had so surrendered 
and were living honest lives. Very few, I believe, went 
back to the wild life. 

There were a very large number of men, especially in the 
early years, who were run down and captured and sentenced 
by the magistrates to long terms of imprisonment. It would 
have done infinite mischief if these men had been released 
after a short time and allowed to join their old companions. 

I opposed the idea of a general jail delivery. When it 
became possible, the cases were examined under my orders 
by an experienced officer and the sentences were revised. 
It was not a task that could be done without labour, care, 
and knowledge. It was necessary to consider the condition 
of the district to which each man belonged. If that district 
was still disturbed, and especially if the gang of which he 
had been a member was still holding together, it would have 
been foolish weakness to send him back again. As a dog 
returns to his vomit, so does a dacoit to his gang, if he can 
find it. The magistrate is bound to think of the people 
who may suffer, rather than of the criminal who had preyed 
upon them. In Burma at least we had not outgrown this 
primitive morality. No one who had had my experience 
of the difficulty of catching these very interesting gentle- 
men would have cared to let them loose again. 


About this time I was able to carry out an intention 
I had formed of visiting Fort Stedman and meeting all 
the Shan chiefs and notables. 

The distance from the nearest point in the plains to 


Fort Stedman was seventy miles, of which fifty-six were 
through the hills. The road was under construction, but in 
that state which made it worse travelling than the bullock- 
path it was meant to supersede. 

The journey would take altogether about fourteen days, 
and it was not easy for me to get away from other business 
for so long a time. Nor was it possible always to summon 
the chiefs away from their headquarters. 

The ride up through the hills was very beautiful, and 
the view from the range commanding the great lake of 
Inle was one of the finest I had seen in Burma. 

Fort Stedman lies on the further or eastern shore of 
the lake, and after a long and hot ride we had to wait 
for a considerable time for the State boat of the Yawnghwe 
Sawbwa who was bringing Mr. Hildebrand across. 

At the landing-place I found a guard of honour of the 
Shan levy under Captain Tonnochy, the Commandant, and 
at the village bazaar higher up all the chiefs had assembled 
to meet me. On the next day I held an informal reception 
of all the Sawbwas and other potentates. 

A large hall, mostly of bamboo, had been constructed 
on the parade-ground, and in this, on the 19th of March, 
I received the chiefs. All the chiefs, with the exception 
of a few, were present. Many of them met me for the first 
time, and I learnt that to most of them also it was the 
first occasion of their meeting with their fellow-chiefs. 
They were presented to me in turn, and the Sawbwas 
of Mongnai and Yawnghwe, who it was considered had 
rendered services of some value to the British Government, 
received the medal and gold chain of honour given by 
the Viceroy for local services in Burma. 

It was a notable assemblage. It was the first occasion 
on which all these potentates of various degrees, who had 
for years previously been fighting amongst themselves or 
rebelling against Burmese tyranny, had been brought 
together in peace and harmony under a strong rule. Each 
of them had made his formal submission to the Queen- 
Empress. Each had received a patent confirming him in 
his rights and position as head of his State. Each of them 
knew that the reign of peace had begun and that he was 
henceforth secure. 


I reminded them that this was the work of the 
British power, and that it had been carried out without 
their assistance by the soldiers of the Queen-Empress 
and at the cost of her Government of India. 

I pointed out to them that they, the Shan chiefs, had 
duties and obligations on their side: primarily the good 
government of their peoples, the impartial administration 
of justice, the development of their territories by roads, 
and the improvement of agriculture and trade. " I do not 
want you," I said, " to imitate or adopt the forms or 
methods of British government ; but I think you can 
do much by a careful choice of your subordinates, by the 
judicious curtailment of the right to carry arms, by sup- 
pressing the extravagant and public gambling which, 
experience shows, invariably leads first to ruin and then to 

Lastly, I explained to them that they could not be 
excused from paying tribute, the amount of which would 
be adjusted to their ability. The British Government was 
maintaining garrisons for their benefit, and had under- 
taken costly expeditions for their defence. It was necessary 
to ask them to remember their obligations. 

The first assessment of the Shan States to tribute was 
made in 1887-8, on the basis of the sums paid to the 
King of Burma, so far as they could be ascertained. The 
country had, however, suffered very greatly from the prevail- 
ing anarchy, and many of the States were depopulated 
and the land was lying waste. Much of the nominal 
demand had to be remitted. Even now (in 1911) the tribute 
received by the Government (which may be taken to be 
at most not more than one-third of the revenue collected 
from the people by their chiefs) hardly covers the expense 
of administration, including the garrison of fifteen hundred 
military police who maintain internal order and guard the 
frontiers. The vast sums expended on the Mandalay-Lashio 
railway in the Northern States and on the road connecting 
the Southern States with the Toungoo-Mandalay railway 
have not been repaid, except by the increased prosperity 
of the country. 

The Shan population may be taken at about one million 
two hundred thousand persons. It would be a high estimate 


of the incidence of the tribute received by the Government 
if it were reckoned at sixpence per head. As a source of 
revenue, therefore, the Shan States are not of much account. 
The country, however, has improved slowly, it is true, 
but without interruption. The railway from Mandalay to 
Lashio has done much for the Northern States. That 
now under construction from the Toungoo-Mandalay line 
to the headquarters of the Southern States will have greater 
and more rapid effect on that fertile country. I fully 
anticipate rapid progress in the near future. It is some- 
thing to be able to say that since my visit to Fort Stedman 
in March, 1890, the peace of the Shan States has not 
been broken, except by a few small local risings of the 
wilder tribes (not Shans) in the mountains on the north 
and on the east. 

To the student of the science of politics the Shan States 
will prove, perhaps, the most interesting field of observation 
in the province under the Lieutenant-Governor of Burma. 
There is nothing quite of the same character in India. 
When we occupied the country, the condition of the Shan 
chiefs had more resemblance to that of the petty chiefs 
and Eajas in the central provinces of India before Sir 
Eichard Temple dealt with them, than to any other Indian 
example. But Temple gave to the larger States the 
character of feudatory rulers of foreign territory outside 
of British India, whereas, as I have mentioned below, 
in the chapter on the Shan Expedition of 1887-8, the 
Shan States one and all were made part of British India 
by the proclamation annexing Burma. 

There is nothing in India similar to this case ; where 
a great territory of sixty thousand square miles, being 
by law an integral part of British India, is administered 
not through the regular officials and courts, but directly 
by many quasi-independent chiefs, each supreme in his 
own territory, but guided and controlled by British officers, 
whose advice they are bound by their engagements to 

It results from these conflicting conditions that every- 
thing has to be done by or under some legal enactment. 
If the ordinary laws of British India (for example, the 
codes of criminal law and procedure) do not apply, it is 


because under the Shan States Act or some other enact- 
ment the local Government has suspended their operation 
and has substituted other rules to which the force of law 
has been given. 

In the Feudatory States of India, on the other hand, 
any interference which becomes necessary is exercised not 
by virtue of an enactment of the legislature, but by the 
use of the sovereign executive power. 

That this difference is vital there can be little doubt. 
At present it is the policy, and no doubt the wise policy, 
of the Government of India to avoid interfering with the 
native States, as much as may be, even by way of advice. 

An Indian ruler can do as he likes, and it is only in 
gross cases of misrule which are clearly injurious to the 
people, and the consequences of which extend, or are likely 
to extend, beyond the boundaries of the State, that the 
sovereign Government feels compelled to intervene. 

In the Shan case the local Government has the power 
by law of interfering and controlling the chief, and it will 
feel bound to use it. 

It will be interesting to watch to which side the tendency 
will be. As the people advance in condition and education, 
and as the chiefs become more intelligent and trained to 
affairs, will the control of the executive increase or diminish ? 
Will the tendency be, as in India, for the executive Govern- 
ment to withdraw into the background and leave the chief 
to govern, or will the chief tend to become an official of 
the State, exercising his powers under the restrictions and 
forms, and subject to the appellate and revisional powers 
of the regular courts ? Up to the present time the control 
has tended to become more close. 


LOED DUFFEEIN left India in December, 1888. I 
went to Calcutta to see him before he left, and had 
the honour of being introduced by him to the new Viceroy, 
the Marquis of Lansdowne. I had reason to be very 
grateful to Lord Dufferin for his confidence and encourage- 
ment and unceasing support, and if he could have stayed 
to see the work finished it would have given me infinite 
satisfaction. I had no less cause, however, to be thankful 
to Lord Lansdowne. 

During the four years I was in Burma, I was in constant 
communication with the Viceroy; and every week, unless I 
was absent in distant places, I wrote to him confidentially, 
keeping him fully informed of events and of my wants and 
wishes. Lord Dufferin had asked me to write to him in 
full confidence and regularly, and Lord Lansdowne allowed 
me to continue the practice. It was an addition, and often 
not an insignificant addition, to my work. It repaid me, 
for it established and maintained confidential relations 
between the Viceroy and his subordinate in Burma. It 
was a great help to the Chief Commissioner, who had no 
one on the spot to whom he could open his mind. 

I have noticed already the change in the province and 
the diversion of attention from the interior to the frontier 
districts. This change shows itself very clearly in my 
correspondence with the Viceroy, which reflected the 
matters giving me most anxiety from week to week. 
During the first half of 1889 the affairs of the frontiers 
occupied the chief place. I have given their history in 
separate chapters. 

It might be thought, from the space I have given to 



dacoits and their leaders, that the time had hardly yet 
come for reducing the military police. In truth the 
struggle with the dacoits was drawing to a close, and 
the forces of order were winning all along the line. The 
outbursts in Magwe and elsewhere were like the last dying 
efforts of a fire. 

The extent to which the military police and the troops 
had changed places can best be understood from this, that 
on the 1st of January, 1887, the troops held one hundred and 
forty-two posts and the military police fifty-six. On the 
1st of January, 1889, the police held one hundred and ninety- 
two posts and the troops forty-one. And the state of the 
province was such as to lead me to consider the possi- 
bility of reducing the military police strength. 

It has been seen how the withdrawal of the troops led 
for a time to renewed activity on the part of the discon- 
tented and criminal classes. 

With this experience before us it was resolved to move 
with the greatest caution, and to feel our way step by step. 
The following procedure was adopted. The state of each 
district and of its subdivisions was carefully reviewed. The 
posts which might be altogether withdrawn were first 
selected, then those of which the garrisons might be re- 
duced in numbers. The changes thus determined were 
to be made gradually, so as to attract as little attention 
as might be. The men brought in from the posts were 
not to leave the district at once, but were to remain at 
headquarters, where their discipline, drill, and musketry 
could be worked up. 

If it should appear from an increase in disorder that re- 
duction had been premature, the mistake could be remedied 
at once by ordering the men back to their posts. If, on 
the contrary, no mischief followed, the surplus men were 
to be drafted, by companies if possible, into a provincial 
reserve battalion, which would be brought to a high 
standard of military efficiency, and would be available 
in case of need for any part of the province. Finally, when 
the reserve battalion became crowded, I proposed to offer 
the trained companies to the army, if the Commander- 
in-Chief would accept them and if the men would take 
military service, of which there was no doubt. 



This scheme was carried out, and continued until the 
strength of the military police force was not greater than 
the Government of Burma needed. 

Another change was made in order to reduce the 
forces, namely, the amalgamation of two or more battalions 
under one Commandant. It was necessary at first to give 
a separate battalion to each district, in order that each 
Deputy Commissioner should have a sufficient force of 
military police at his hand and under his control. But 
when the country became peaceful and active service was 
rarely called for, there was no reason for maintaining an 
organization that was costly in money and men. Thus 
by doubling up the battalions, aggregating nineteen com- 
panies, in the Eastern Division, into one battalion of fifteen 
companies, four companies were saved and drafted into the 

This process went on until, in the year 1892, seven fine 
regiments had been given to the army. These were 
treated at first and for some time as local regiments 
attached to the province. Of late years, however, the 
policy in the Indian Army has been to obliterate all local 
distinctions and to make service general. 

The strength of the military police in Upper Burma 
now is, I understand, fifteen thousand men in round 
numbers. The strength in 1889 was eighteen thousand. 
The reduction, therefore, has not been so very great. The 
fact is that no sooner had the interior of the province been 
reduced to order, than fresh territory began to come under 
administration. Vast tracts of hill country on the east, 
on the north, and on the west, which were left to them- 
selves in 1890, are now held by the military police. From 
the frontier of French Indo-China on the east to the Bengal 
boundary on the west, and northwards along the Chinese 
boundary wherever it may be, the military police keep the 
marches of Burma. In the mountains inhabited by Kachin 
tribes on the north and east of the Myitkyina district, the 
whole of this troublesome borderland is held by the police. 
Sixteen hundred and twelve rifles, with forty-one native 
officers and nine British officers, more than a tenth of the 
whole strength, are stationed in this district, which in 1887 


was outside the pale. The Shan States and the Chin country 
are similarly garrisoned.* 

I have always felt that our failure to train the Burmans 
to be soldiers is a blot on our escutcheon. I have 
mentioned an experiment to enlist Karens. This succeeded 
for a time. The men learnt their drill quickly, and as 
trackers and for forest work they were very useful. It 
was decided in 1891 to raise a Karen battalion, with which, 
and an Indian battalion, it was proposed to form a military 
police force for Lower Burma. The Karens were placed 
on the same footing as the Indians, and British officers 
were appointed to command them. In drill, endurance in 
the field, and courage, the Karen showed himself a good 
man. But from some cause he failed in discipline, and 
in 1899 it was found advisable, owing to insubordinate 
conduct, to disband the battalion and distribute the com- 
panies among the Indian battalions. There has been more 
success, I am told, with the Kachins, who are showing 
themselves trustworthy. They are certainly a strong race, 
probably the strongest we have in Burma. 

Another direction in which the change from the sword 
to the plough and the pen was showing itself was in the 
prominence given to the administration of the civil police. 
It is very easy to get up a cry against the police in Burma 
or in India, but they will not be improved by constant 
abuse, frequent prosecutions, censures, and condemnations 
by High Court judges, or still less competent critics, or by 
other methods of giving a service a bad name. 

One of the hardest tasks connected with the administra- 
tion of a country by foreign rulers is the creation of a good 
police force. When the people from whom the force has 
to be recruited have lived for years under a despotic and 
altogether corrupt government, the task becomes doubly 
hard. And when the foreigners appointed to officer and 
train the force have for the most part no knowledge of 
police work and no acquaintance with the vernacular of 
the people, the task would have made Hercules drown 
himself in the nearest ditch. 

It had to be done, however, and it was undertaken. The 

* This is well brought out by Lieut-Colonel S. C. F. Peile in his 
" History of the Burma Military Police " (Rangoon, 1906), p. 12. 


work had not gone far in 1890, but it was started, and two 
good and experienced police officers of high standing had 
been appointed to go round Upper Burma, district by 
district, and instruct the English officers. It was not 
possible at that time to find Burmans fit to take charge 
of the police of a district. I do not know whether such 
men are yet forthcoming.* We are well advanced in the 
second century of our rule in India, yet I believe there 
are few Indian gentlemen who are willing to take an ap- 
pointment in the police and fewer still who are well fitted 
for it. 

The question of the civil police in Lower Burma was 
taken up systematically in 1888. A committee was ap- 
pointed by me to diagnose the ailment from which the 
police were suffering, and to prescribe remedies. On their 
report in 1889 a scheme was drawn up, the main features 
of which were the division of the Lower Burma force into 
military and civil, the former, as in Upper Burma, to 
be recruited from India and partly, it was then hoped, 
from the Karen people, the latter to be natives of the 
country. To the latter was to be entrusted all police 
work of detection and prevention. They were to be sub- 
jected to drill and discipline and accustomed to stand alone, 
and they were to be schooled and trained to police duties. 
The military police force was to be organized as one 
regiment under a military officer. Their headquarters 
were to be in Kangoon, and they were to furnish such 
detachments for outdistricts as might be wanted from time 
to time. This scheme, with little alteration, was carried 
out in 1891, and I believe is still in force. 

* I have learnt from Sir Herbert White that two Burman officers hold 
the rank of District Superintendents of Police with credit. 



THE country inhabited by the Burmans, properly so 
called, may be described roughly as the valleys of the 
Irrawaddy and Chindwin Rivers, south of 23 N. Latitude. 
The hills which bound the Irrawaddy Valley on the east, 
close in the great river in its northern reaches, and as far 
south as Mandalay. Below that point the river turns 
westward and leaves a widening plain between its left 
bank, and the spurs of the Eastern Range, which rise 
abruptly from the low ground. The passes through this 
range lead to a hilly plateau, the altitude of which is 
from two to four thousand feet above sea-level rising 
occasionally to five and six thousand feet. This plateau 
is intersected from north to south by the Salween River, 
which, rising somewhere in the mountains to the north- 
west of Yunnan, enters the sea at Moulmein. The channel 
of the Salween is in most places deep. To the east the high 
land continues, but is rougher and more mountainous, and 
rises until the watershed between the Salween and the 
Mekong is crossed. The descent to the Mekong is then 
made through difficult and rugged country much cut up by 
watercourses. The Shan States, which were at the time of 
the annexation tributary to the Burman monarch, are 
situated, with some insigificant exceptions, on this plateau. 
The Shans are a distinct race from the Burmans. The 
existing Burmese people may be traced, it is said, to tribes 
dwelling in the Eastern Himalaya and the adjoining region 
of Thibet. The Tai or Siamese branch of the Indo-Chinese 
people, called Shan by the Burmese, are supposed to have 
migrated from their original seat in Central Asia towards the 
south, and to have settled along the rivers Mekong, Menam, 



Irrawaddy, and Brahmaputra. They are found as a distinct 
race from the borders of Manipur to the heart of Yunnan, and 
from the Valley of Assam to Bangkok and Cambodia. 
Major H. E. Davies found them occupying most of the low- 
lying valleys in Southern Yunnan, and on the Tongking 
border, and in small communities even in Northern Yunnan 
and on the Upper Yangtze. Although so widely spread, in 
some cases even scattered, and, except in Siam, subjected to 
alien races, they have preserved to a great extent a common 
language and national character.* In religion they are 
Buddhist of the Burmese type, but less strict in the observ- 
ance of religious duties and ceremonies and less regardful 
of animal life. They are in many ways a civilized people, 
unwarlike, and given to agriculture and commerce. They 
are not unfriendly to foreigners. "I must have travelled," 
writes Major Davies, " some fifteen hundred miles through 
Shan countries, and I never remember any difference of 
opinion, or unpleasantness of any kind." t 

"It may be accepted as historical," says Phayre, "that 
the Tai race became supreme in the country of the Upper 
Irrawaddy early in the Christian Era and continued to be so 
under a consolidated monarchy for several centuries. About 
the ninth century A.D. it began to break up into separate 
States which eventually were conquered by the Burmans." 1 
In the Irrawaddy Valley the Shans lost their autonomy, and 
were amalgamated with the Burrnan population ; but those 
on the high plateau to the east continued to be governed by 
their own chiefs, according to their own customs, subject to 
the suzerainty of Burma. Some small States west of the 
Irrawaddy, survived the dissolution of the Shan kingdom, 
and they also enjoyed a similar but less marked inde- 

Up to the time of the annexation at the end of 1885, the 
King of Burma had exercised a real, although spasmodic 
and irregular control over the Shan chiefs. In theory the 
office of chief, or Sawbwa, was hereditary in the family. 
The Sawbwa was supreme in his own territory. He had the 
power of life and death, and so far as his subjects were con- 
cerned, wielded absolute authority unfettered by any rule 

* " Yunnan," by Major H. K. Davies. f Ibid., p. 21. 

| Sir A. P. Phayre, " History of Burma," p. 13. 


stronger than custom. The character of the Government 
varied in consequence with the personal character of the 
chief. The main check on oppression was the facility with 
which the people could emigrate into some neighbouring 
State. In practice, however, the Burma Government did not 
scruple to interfere with the Sawbwa ; and this interference 
was the chief cause of the strife and contention which 
divided and ruined the country. A Burmese Bo-hmu- 
mintha, or Kesident, to use the Indian term, had his seat of 
administration at Mongnai, and was supported by a force of 
brigands rather than soldiers. He was assisted by political 
agents subordinate to him residing in some of the more 
important States. 

The interference thus exercised was seldom if ever in the 
interests of good administration. As a rule it was confined 
to efforts to raise a revenue. Tolls and exactions at various 
points on the trade routes were numerous and oppressive ; 
enough at times to obstruct commerce, and even to close a 
trade route altogether for a season. The ease, however, with 
which another road could be found, and the duty evaded, 
was some check, and the Shans, who are industrious culti- 
vators and born traders, contrived to remain fairly pros- 
perous and not much below their Burman neighbours in 
wealth and comfort. As in Burma, while there were some 
rich men, there was no real poverty. No one but the idle 
and vicious needed to be in want. 

The office of Sawbwa was, as has been said, hereditary in 
theory, and it does not seem that the Burmese Government 
diverted the succession from mere caprice or favouritism. 
Some pains were taken to secure the loyalty of the chiefs 
The King not seldom invited the sons of Sawbwas to the 
Court of Ava at an early age, for the twofold purpose of 
rearing them under Court influence, and of keeping them 
as hostages for their fathers' good conduct. Notwithstanding 
this marked subordination to the King of Burma, each chief 
assumed the same insignia and marks of royalty as his 
Suzerain, and in his own view, and to his subjects, probably, 
was a great and independent monarch. 

It has been said that the influence of the Burmese Govern- 
ment was seldom in the interests of good administration. 
On the contrary, it was frequently used to stir up strife 


between the Sawbwas, in order to prevent them from com- 
bining against the King. Not unnaturally, therefore, he 
was not always regarded with feelings of loyalty or affection. 
Rebellions against his government were frequent, but owing 
to the want of cohesion amongst the Shans, and the absence 
of a leader of capacity to unite them and to organize resist- 
ance, even the loose-jointed Mandalay administration was 
able to put down revolt without difficulty. It was done with 
ruthless severity. There was little inclination on the part of 
the Sawbwas, in spite of this oppression, to seek aid or pro- 
tection from the Siamese, whose rule would not have been a 
change for the better. The Mongnai Sawbwa and others, 
after failing in a rebellion against Burma, sought refuge 
in Kengtung, the largest and most powerful of the Trans- 
Salween States, which had some traditional connection 
with China, and owing to its distance from Burma, and 
the rugged nature of the intervening country, enjoyed more 
than a shadow of independence. Nor did those States which 
lie on the Mekong and formerly owned or claimed to own 
territory on the east bank, invite Chinese protection. Their 
feelings towards China were friendly enough. But their 
position on the very extremity of that Empire, where there 
was little life in the administration, rendered it unsafe to 
lean on help from that quarter. 

A letter written to the Chief Commissioner by the 
Sawbwa of Hsipaw (Nothern Shan States) in 1886 shows 
the attitude of the Shan Chiefs towards Burma and 

" During the last war between the English and the 
Burmese," he writes, " the Chinese Emperor placed 300,000 
men at Maingmawgyi to guard the Chinese frontier. The 
Chinese officials wrote to the Sawbwas inviting them to a 
conference at Maingmawgyi to draw up a friendly treaty, 
as the Burmese King had been taken away by the 

" But I am under great obligations to the Queen-Empress, 
so I made answer thus : ' From time immemorial we 
Shans have not sought protection either from China or 
Burma ; of late, however, the Burmans, regardless of law 
and justice, have exacted our submission to them by force 
of arms. 


" ' Since the conquest of Burma by the British and the 
removal of the Burmese King, the Sawbwas and Myozas 
have been trying their best to restore peace and order. 
And now we are asked to come to Maingmawgyi and draw 
up a treaty of friendship. We cannot respond to the 
invitation as yet. We, chiefs of the Shan country, must 
first of all consider which side could confer on us peace 
and happiness, and then enter into friendly relations with 
the Government of such side.' ' 

The problem before the Administration of Burma in 
1886 was, to use the political slang of to-day, " The 
peaceful penetration " of the Shan country. The mantle 
of the Burmese monarch had fallen on the shoulders of 
the British Government. The Shan chiefs and their people 
had to be persuaded to make submission to the Queen- 
Empress and to accept her as their overlord. This 
persuasion had to be effected if possible without the use 
of force. A show of force, however, was necessary. During 
1886 the despatch of an expedition to the Shan States 
was impossible. The work on hand in Upper Burma was 
more than enough. Thus it happened that until 1887 
the only attempt to make British influence felt in the 
Shan States was the deputation of an officer with a small 
force to Hsumhsai, a small State lying between Mandalay 
and Hsipaw. 

To make the measures taken to solve this problem 
intelligible, a brief account must be given of events in 
the Shan country immediately preceding and following 
the deposition of the King of Burma. The grouping of 
the States for administrative purposes into North and 
South, which was not inherited from the Burman Govern- 
ment and was not founded on any distinction recognized 
by the Shans, had its origin in these events. The States, 
the history of which is of most importance in this con- 
nection, are Hsenwi and Hsipaw, to the north of Man- 
dalay ; Yawnghwe and Mongnai farther south ; and, on 
the east of the Sal ween, the large State of Kengtung. 

Hsipaw lies in the hills on the Mandalay-Lashio road, 
about one hundred and thirty miles from the capital of Upper 
Burma. The Sawbwa, by name Hkun Saing, was the first of 
the Shan chiefs who came in contact with the British Govern- 


ment and the first to submit himself to the suzerainty of the 
Queen-Empress after the annexation. The circumstances 
which led to his contact with the British are these. In 
1882 Hkun Saing incurred the displeasure of King Thebaw 
and fled to escape his vengeance. After some wanderings, 
which extended, it is said, into Siam, he came to Kangoon, 
and with a wife and servants settled in the Kemmendine 
suburb. He lived, he said, in fear of assassination by 
agents of the King, and doubted the fidelity of some of 
his followers. In 1883 his fears, apparently, overcame him, 
and he shot down two of his men whom he accused, I 
believe not without reason, of plotting against his life. 
He was arrested, tried for murder before the Recorder of 
Rangoon, and condemned to death. 

The sentence was commuted by the Chief Commissioner 
to transportation, and he was confined in the jail at 
Rangoon. The Chief Commissioner visited Hkun Saing 
a few days after the beginning of his imprisonment, and 
found him taking his punishment like a man, uttering no 
complaints and working with a will at the task * imposed 
on him. The jail authorities were then instructed to treat 
him as a political prisoner. After a sufficient time had 
elapsed to make it plain to independent chiefs that if 
they sought refuge in British territory they must submit 
themselves to British law, he was released on condition 
that he left our jurisdiction. He retired to Eastern Karenni, 
and lived under the protection of Sawlapaw, the chief of 
that country. On the removal of the King of Burma, he 
obtained some assistance in men and money from Sawlapaw, 
and made his way to his own territory. 

Meanwhile much had been happening there and in the 
neighbouring States during his absence. 

To the east and north-east of Hsipaw is the State of 
Hsenwi, which is one of the largest divisions of the Shan 
country. The tract known by this name contains nearly 
twelve thousand square miles. On the north and north- 
east it is bordered by Chinese Shan States. The popu- 
lation of the State is said to number about one hundred 
and fifty thousand and is of mixed races, the pure Shans 
being outnumbered by Kachins, Palaungs, and Chinese. 
* lie was grinding wheat or paddy in a hand-mill. 


For many years Hsenwi had been torn by dissension. 
Frequent struggles between rival claimants to the chief- 
ship, as frequent appeals to Burma by the party who for 
the time was worsted, had distracted and ruined the 
country. At the time of the annexation of Upper Burma 
Naw Hpa was the titular Sawbwa, one of whose daughters 
had been espoused by King Mindon. He was the repre- 
sentative of the ancient ruling family of Hsenwi and had 
been expelled by a usurper named Sang Hai. The story 
is worth telling as an illustration of Burmese ways. 

About the middle of last century the Siamese made an 
attack on the Trans- Sal ween State of Kengtung. The Cis- 
Salween States were called upon for contingents to form 
a force to repel the invasion, and Sang Hai, who was pre- 
viously unknown, led the Hsenwi men to victory and won 
much renown. On his return, finding himself at the head 
of victorious troops, he rebelled against his lawful ruler 
Naw Hpa, and turned him out. 

Naw Hpa was summoned to Mandalay, and condemned 
to imprisonment for having failed to maintain his authority, 
while a cadet of the Hsenwi house was appointed in his 
stead. This cadet, U Po by name, was driven away igno- 
miniously by Sang Hai, and was recalled to Mandalay and 
sent to join Naw Hpa in jail. Numerous Burmese officials 
of high rank with imposing titles were sent up one after 
another, and one after another was expelled by Sang Hai, 
and they came back, in the order of their going, to join 
the company of failures in Mandalay prison. 

At last, about 1877, all the Sawbwas from Yawnghwe to 
Mong Long were ordered to make a combined attack on Sang 
Hai. This was too much for the usurper. He went east 
of the Salween, and Naw Hpa was sent back to rule a 
ruined and distracted country. But Sang Hai before he 
retired had thrown his mantle over the shoulders of his 
son-in-law, San Ton Hon, who was for a Shan a good 
fighting-man. The unlucky Naw Hpa was driven out 
once more, and again ordered to Mandalay to explain his 
failure to hold his own. He knew by experience what this 
meant, and deputed his son, who was known as the Naw 
Mong, to represent him at Court, or rather in prison, while 
he himself took refuge with the Kachins. 


When Thebaw succeeded his father Mindon, he impri- 
soned his stepmother, the Hsenwi Queen, Naw Hpa's 
daughter, and killed her son. And as Naw Hpa himself 
was a refugee and Naw Mong was in jail San Ton Hon 
was left free to establish himself in Hsenwi, or rather in 
the Northern and Eastern Divisions of the State. The 
Southern, known as the Taunglet, had already broken away 
and separated into four petty chiefships. The middle 
portion, called the Alelet, was governed in a fashion by 
Sang Aw, commonly know as the Pa-ok-chok, who had his 
headquarters at Mongyai. A Burmese official with a small 
force had been left at Lashio, but unable to support him- 
self against San Ton Hon he withdrew as soon as he heard 
of the fall of the Monarchy. 

On the British occupation of Mandalay the son of 
Naw Hpa, Naw Mong, who had been imprisoned by 
Thebaw, was set free. He made his way into Hsenwi, 
collected followers, and seized the capital, which had been 
evacuated by the Burmans. He was quickly expelled, 
however, by San Ton Hon. Meanwhile his father, Naw 
Hpa, with a following of Kachins, came upon the scene, 
and another element of strife appeared in the Myinzaing 
Prince, who had been imprisoned by the King and 
along with other political prisoners was released on the 
occupation of Mandalay. He made his way to the Shan 
hills and endeavoured to collect followers and oppose the 
British. His cause appears to have been taken up by Naw 
Hpa and Naw Mong, in the hope of strengthening their 
own party. A confederacy was formed to raise the 
standard of the Myinzaing Prince. The plan of campaign 
was to seize possession of this part of the Shan country. 
Hsipaw was to be assigned to Naw Mong, while Hsenwi 
was to be restored to Naw Hpa. The town of Hsipaw 
was attacked and completely wrecked, and a movement was 
directed against San Ton Hon. 

Such was the condition of affairs when Hkun Saing 
made his way back from the Karenni country. After some 
opposition he made himself master of Hsipaw, to find the place 
in ruins, the only house standing being his own haw, or 
palace, which had been spared in fear, it was said, of the 
Spirit of the Palace. Under these circumstances it was 
natural that Hkun Saing, the lawful Sawbwa of Hsipaw 


and San Ton Hon, the de facto chief of Northern Hsenwi, 
should make common cause against the confederacy headed 
by Naw Hpa and his son. This was in July, 1886. 

Between the Hsipaw State and Mandalay on the western 
border of the Shan plateau lies the small State of Hsumhsai, 
known to the Burmans as Thonze. It was formerly ruled by 
its own chief, and had been a very prosperous little district. 
Its position within easy reach of Mandalay exposed it to 
the constant and mischievous interference of the Burman 
Government. For forty years before the annexation it had 
been administered by Burmese officials, but with some 
regard to Shan customs and sentiment. In 1886, after 
the British occupation of Mandalay, it became a bone of 
contention between Kun Meik, acting for his brother 
the Sawbwa of Hsipaw, and the Myinzaing Prince, who 
had occupied this part of the plateau. There were two 
men of influence in Thonze, Maung Sa and Maung Se. 
Maung Sa attached himself to Kun Meik, and Maung Se 
to the Myinzaing Prince. They fought with varying 
fortune for some time. Eventually Kun Meik was 
forced back to Hsipaw. The Myinzaing party remained 
masters of Hsumhsai for some months, pillaging and 
destroying everything. The trade route was entirely closed 
throughout the year 1886, and traffic between Mandalay 
and the Shan States either ceased or followed a very 
circuitous route. 

The Chief Commissioner and the military commanders 
had so much on their hands in 1886 that the question of the 
Shan country was of necessity postponed. In November, 
however, it was found imperative to give attention to affairs 
in Hsumhsai. A column under Colonel E. Stedman,* with 
Mr. H. Thirkell White f as civil officer, was sent to reopen the 
road and restore order. Mr. White recorded that at the 
time of his arrival (18th of November, 1886) " The country 
was to a great extent deserted, villages had been abandoned, 
and many of the inhabitants had fled to the neighbouring 
States of Monglon, Hsipaw, and Lawksawk, but chiefly 
to Monglon. Much of the land had been left uncultivated ; 
the road was neglected and overgrown with long grass. 
These evidences of disorder we saw as we passed through 

* General Sir Edward Stedman, G.C.B. 

f Sir Herbert White, K.C.I.E., late Lieut. Governor of Burma. 


Hsumhsai, and I learned from the people that the state of the 
rest of the country was the same as that of the part which 
we saw." It may be noted here that when Hkun Saing, the 
Sawbwa of Hsipaw, came to Mandalay in 1887 to meet 
Sir Charles Bernard, he laid claim to three small States 
Hsumhsai, Monglon, and Montung as formerly belong- 
ing to him. Inasmuch as Hkun Saing was the first 
Shan chief to acknowledge the supremacy of the British 
Government, there was a desire to make much of him 
and to meet his wishes. These three States were 
made over to him without going into the merits of the 
case. At the time the intricacies of Shan politics were little 
understood. The people of Monglon especially were averse 
to being subjected to the Sawbwa, who failed to govern 
justly or efficiently, and the settlement of this part of the 
country became very difficult. The ultimate result in con- 
solidating the States under one chief has, I believe, been 

Another State of which it is useful to give some special 
account is Yawnghwe, called by the Burmese Nyaungywe. 
Yawnghwe is in the Central, or Myelat, Division of the 
Shan States, and is easily accessible from the plains. It is 
remarkable for its physical formation. A broad valley run- 
ning from the north to the south forms the western half of 
the State, and the centre of this valley is the Inle Lake, a 
large expanse of water covering an area of seventy square 
miles (Upper Burma Gazetteer). The eastern side of the 
State is hilly, and some of the ranges rise to six thousand feet 
and more. Yawnghwe, it is said, in former days ruled the 
country from the Hsipaw border on the north to Karenni 
on the south. It was undoubtedly the most prominent State 
in the Myelat. 

At the time of the occupation of Mandalay by the British, 
Saw Mong was Sawbwa. He had gone down to Mandalay 
in 1885 to see King Thebaw. It is said that he brought 
back with him to Yawnghwe the Legya Queen, one of King 
Mindon's wives, and her son, whose standard he set up, 
calling on all the chiefs to aid him to fight the British 
and retake Mandalay. A combination of small States was 
formed against him, and he was wounded in both legs and 
obliged to retire. Being thus incapacitated, he sent for his 



half-brother, Saw On, and handed the conduct of affairs to 
him while he went to Mandalay to recover from his hurt. 
Saw 6n defeated the hostile party, and having established 
his authority, took possession of the State and told Saw 
Mong he need not return. Meanwhile the Limbin con- 
federacy had been formed, and Saw On was called upon 
to join it. He refused, and shrewdly proclaimed himself an 
adherent of the British Government and appealed to the 
Chief Commissioner for aid. 

In order to explain the appearance of the Limbin con- 
federacy, we must now go eastward of the Salween to the 
State of Kengtung. This chieftainship is one of the largest 
of the States, and comprises about twelve thousand square 
miles. It lies between the Salween and the Mekong, touch- 
ing both rivers. Owing to its distance from Mandalay and the 
very rugged and mountainous nature of the country between 
the two rivers, Kengtung of late years had been left to 
itself by the Burman Government. Soon after Thebaw's 
accession to the Kingdom of Ava, many of the Shan States 
revolted against him, and Kengtung took a conspicuous 
part in the rebellion. The Sawbwa seized the Burmese 
Kesident and his escort and put them to death. He attacked 
the adjacent and smaller State of Kengcheng and turned 
out the chief, installing in his room a man of his own. 
It so happened that the Chinese had occasion about this 
time to strengthen their forces in Southern Yunnan, prob- 
ably as ,a precaution against French aggression. Hearing 
of the action taken by Kengtung against Kengcheng, a 
large part of which lay east of the Mekong, the Chinese 
general sent a force to Kengtung. It was agreed to submit 
the dispute between the claimants to the Sawbwaship of 
Kengcheng to the Chinese commander. He installed one 
of the claimants, and provided against a revival of the 
quarrel by decapitating the other. After these events the 
authority of the Burman Government ceased to exist in 

In 1882 the Sawbwa of Mongnai and the chiefs of several 
neighbouring States revolted against Thebaw and found a 
safe refuge in Kengtung. Mongnai is one of the most 
important of the States. It contains nearly three thousand 
square miles. The Eiver Salween is the boundary on 


the east, and divides it from Kengtung. It has been 
already mentioned that a Burman Bo-hmu, or Kesident, 
with an armed force, was stationed in Mongnai, which 
derived dignity from being the centre of Burmese power 
in the Shan States, and suffered proportionately. The 
exactions of the King's Government at last became 
intolerable. The Sawbwa, Kun Kyi, was summoned, with 
other defaulters, to Mandalay, and imprisoned there until 
the sums demanded were paid. 

About 1882 Kun Kyi was again summoned to appear. 
He preferred to revolt. While the Burmese subordinate 
official (the Resident had just died) was preparing to seize 
him, he raised his people, led them against the King's 
garrison, and destroyed it. On the news reaching Mandalay, 
a large force was dispatched to avenge this outrage, and the 
Sawbwa, with several other chiefs in like straits, took refuge 
in Kengtung. One, Twet Nga Lu, with the assistance of 
the Burmese officials, took possession of Mongnai. 

Twet Nga Lu was an unfrocked monk, a native of Keng- 
tawng, a sub-State of Mongnai, who signalized his return 
to a worldly life by making himself unpleasant to his 
neighbours. He had made an attack on Mongnai, but was 
driven off. A younger brother of the Mongnai Sawbwa had 
married a lady named Nang U, by whom he had a son. 
Whether this nobleman died, or was dismissed by Nang U, 
is uncertain. However that may be, she espoused Twet 
Nga Lu, and thereupon her minor son was appointed by 
the King to be magistrate of Kengtawng with the unfrocked 
monk as guardian. This arrangement had taken place 
before the retirement of the Sawbwa, Kun Kyi, to Kengtung, 
and was very distasteful to him. 

It came about thus, that the Sawbwa of Mongnai, the 
premier chief in the Shan country with Lawksawk and 
several others, all suffering from the King's tyranny, found 
themselves in Kengtung. 

Naturally they took counsel together regarding the 
measures to be adopted for recovering their territories, and 
protecting the Shans generally against the oppressive rule 
of Burma. It was resolved to form a confederacy under one 
leader. Their decision and the reasons for it are stated in 
a letter addressed by them to Hkun Saing, the Sawbwa of 


Hsipaw, on the 26th of March, 1886. Referring to a com- 
munication which they had received from Hkun Saing, in 
which he advised that " it would be beneficial to the 
Shans to have their country welded into a congeries of 
independent States like Germany," they state their own 
views in the form of resolutions, declaring that there is no 
hope of establishing peace or putting an end to the endless 
strife between the States, unless they are united under one 
suzerain. They consider that the interests of their religion 
and of the country generally demand the selection of a 
supreme ruler, who will combine the Sawbwas and enable 
them to withstand any attempt to injure them or their 

Acting on these principles they decided in 1885, before 
the British Government had moved against King Thebaw, 
to invite the Limbin Prince, one of the Eoyal Family who 
was living in British Burma as a refugee on a small pension 
allotted to him by the British Government, to come up to 
Kengtung and to accept the position of Suzerain of the 
Shan States, with the object of " wresting the crown from 
King Thebaw." The Prince accepted the call, and arrived 
at Kengtung on December 10, 1885. On his arrival, forces 
were raised from Kengtung and the other confederating 
States, and advance parties were sent forward under the 
command of the Sawbwas of Mongnawng, Mongnai, and 

The States joining in this enterprise under the nominal 
leadership of the Limbin Prince a poor creature quite unable 
to lead any one became known as the Limbin Confederacy. 
A counter league was formed by all those interested in 
keeping the exiled Sawbwas out of their territories and 
maintaining the existing state of things. On the other 
hand, the Sawbwas of Mongpawn and several other 
influential Sawbwas espoused the cause of the Confederacy. 
Twet Nga Lu was the leading spirit of the counter league, 
and he directed its forces against the States which were 
allied to Mongnai. He was met and defeated by Mongpawn, 
and early in the year 1886 Kun Kyi, the Sawbwa of 
Mongnai, and his companions in exile had expelled the 
usurpers and recovered their territories. The Confederacy 
then set themselves to induce or compel other States to join 



them and to acknowledge the suzerainty of the Limbin 
Prince. Saw On, the de facto ruler of Yawnghwe, rejected 
their invitation. The Confederacy determined to move 
from Mongnai against him, as it was important to force 
Yawnghwe, the State adjoining Mongnai on the west, and 
the most powerful in the Central, or Myelat, Division, to 
give its adherence to the Prince. 

The foregoing outline will perhaps suffice to make the 
situation at and immediately following the annexation 

The danger-points appeared to the Chief Commissioner 
to be the critical situations of the two Sawbwas, who had 
signified their adherence to the British Government, 
namely, Hsipaw in the north and Yawnghwe in the 
central portion of the States. Hsipaw and his ally, San 
Ton Hon, were pressed by the coalition under Naw Hpa, 
Naw Mong, and Prince Saw Yan Naing another scion 
of Royalty who with his brother had raised their standard 
at Chaunggwa, in the Ava district, and after being driven 
out of that had eventually joined Naw Mong in Hsenwi. 
Yawnghwe was threatened by the powerful Limbin Con- 
federacy, and had no prospect of help from any neighbouring 
State. Both these Sawbwas had declared themselves to be 
friends of the British Government, and at the time they 
were our only adherents. 

The deputation of Mr. Herbert White to Hsumhsai in 
1886 has already been mentioned. He succeeded in opening 
the trade route between Hsipaw and Mandalay and in 
strengthening the position of the Sawbwa Hkun Saing. 
Accordingly, when Sir Charles Bernard came to Mandalay 
at the end of 1886, Hkun Saing was able to hasten down 
to meet him, and to make in person his submission to the 
British Government. He was received with much ceremony 
by the Chief Commissioner. His loyalty to the Queen- 
Empress and belief in her power were not open to doubt. 
On his return journey from Mandalay in February, 1887, 
Mr. J. E. Bridges, the Deputy Commissioner, with a small 
military escort and some officers of the Survey and 
Intelligence Departments, accompanied the Sawbwa to 
Hsipaw. Mr. Bridges remained there twenty-five days, 
gathering information regarding Shan politics and the 


country generally, and opening communications with other 
States. He came to the conclusion that the Shan chiefs 
were little disposed to welcome the advent of British 
power. Hkun Saing, the Sawbwa of Hsipaw, stood out 
alone as our friend. The party under the flag of the 
Chaunggwa Prince, which was striving to eject San Ton 
Hon from Hsenwi, was equally hostile to Hsipaw. Much 
of the country had been ravaged by the Myinzaing Prince 
and his adherents. His view was needlessly despondent. 

Before the end of 1886 it had been decided to begin by 
sending an expedition to relieve Yawnghwe from the 
threatened attack by the Limbin Confederacy. To provide 
men for another movement to help Hsipaw was thought to 
be impossible. In accordance with a promise made to 
Hkun Saing by the Chief Commissioner at their meeting 
in Mandalay, a supply of arms and ammunition was sent 
to him, which, it was hoped, would enable him and San 
Ton Hon to defeat their enemies. It may be stated here 
that although some anxiety was felt from time to time 
regarding events in Hsenwi and Hsipaw, it did not become 
necessary to move troops to their assistance. Naw Hpa 
and his son Naw Mong made submission to the Superin- 
tendent at Fort Stedman early in August, 1887, and further 
action in the Northern States was deferred until the open 
season of 1887-8. 

But to return to the end of 1886. Although it had been 
impossible to take more active steps to bring the Shan 
States into line, the administration had not been idle. The 
policy to be adopted towards them generally was thought 
out and the main lines were laid down by Sir Charles 
Bernard. Letters explaining the principles which would 
guide the British Government in its relations to them 
were written to the various chiefs. They were assured 
that there was no desire to interfere in the internal affairs 
of the States. British supremacy must be acknowledged, 
peace must be preserved, the people must not be oppressed. 
Subject to these conditions and to the payment of a 
moderate tribute, the British Government undertook to 
recognize the Sawbwas who were in effective possession, 
to uphold their rights, and to give freedom and open the 
way for commerce. Preparations were made accordingly 


to send an expedition to the Shan plateau. Its immediate 
duty was to relieve Yawnghwe. The ultimate purpose was 
to establish a political officer with a sufficient military 
force in a strong position on the Shan plateau from which 
he could, as the representative of British power, control 
the States. There was no intention of fighting the Shans. 
On the contrary, it was desired to win their friendship and 
to induce them to trust us. Already the duties, imposts 
and monopolies which strangled trade in the King's time 
had been swept away. It remained to establish peace and 
to open the trade routes which the prevailing anarchy had 

Hlaingdet was chosen as the starting-point of the ex- 
pedition which was to carry out this policy. A force 
assembled there in December, 1886, under Colonel E. Sted- 
man of the 3rd Gurkha Regiment, consisting of 

2 guns 1-1 E.D.R.A. 

Four Companies 2nd Battalion Hampshire Regiment. 

Four Companies 3rd Gurkha Regiment. 

50 men of the Bombay Sappers and Miners. 

40 Mounted Infantry (who joined at Pwehla after the 

force had started). 

The objects of the expedition, as has been stated, were 
peaceful and political. The military commander was re- 
sponsible for the disposition of the troops, and in the event 
of active operations becoming necessary was to have entire 
control. The negotiations with the Shans and the conduct 
of affairs generally, apart from purely military matters, were 
entrusted to the civil head of the expedition, Mr. A. H. 
Hildebrand (at that time Deputy Commissioner of Tharra- 
waddy). Ten years previously Mr. Hildebrand had served 
on a mission to the Karenni country and had arranged 
for the protection of that people from the encroachments 
of the King of Burma. Subsequently as District Officer of 
the Salween Hill Tracts and later in the Arakan Hills he 
had shown his capacity for ruling and influencing half- 
civilized peoples. Mr. J. G. Scott, now well known as 
Sir George Scott, was appointed to assist him. Mr. Scott 
at a former period had been attached to the S. P. G. 
College in Rangoon, and under the nom de plume of Shway 
Yoe had made a reputation as a writer on Burma and its 


people. On the annexation of Upper Burma he had been 
appointed to the Commission. 

The leaders of the expedition, both civil and military, 
were well chosen. Their instructions were to take every 
precaution against giving avoidable offence or trouble to 
the people, to gain the goodwill of chiefs, priests, and 
villagers, to interfere as little as might be with their pre- 
judices, their religious houses, and their private life. 

The move from Hlaingdet was to have been made at once 
on the assembling of the force. But the state of the roads 
and doubt as to the best route caused delay both at the 
outset and afterwards. The hill passes leading to the Shan 
country had become very difficult owing to disuse during 
the troublous times of 1885-6. In some places also they 
had been purposely blocked by the Burman villagers to 
protect themselves against Shan cattle-raiders, and by 
Shans who wished to obstruct the expedition. It was very 
hard to get labourers to clear and repair the roads and make 
them passable by the main body of the force and the trans- 
port animals. 

On the 3rd of January it was decided to advance, and 
Colonel Stedman, with two hundred Gurkhas, proceeded 
to occupy Pyinyaung, twenty-two miles from Hlaingdet. 
There were doubts as to the best route. As the reports 
received from Yawnghwe represented the Sawbwa to be 
hard pressed by the Limbin Confederates, Colonel Stedman 
resolved to follow the most direct road, disregarding its 
difficulty, and pushed on to Kyatsakan and across the 
Pyindeik Pass. Singu was occupied on the 20th. Some 
show of resistance was made at several places. But it 
was very faint-hearted, the enemy being only some Shans 
in the service of the Lawksawk Sawbwa, poorly armed and 
undisciplined. Mr. Hildebrand had not yet arrived. His 
subordinate, Mr. Scott, who performed his duties temporarily, 
distributed copies of a proclamation issued by the Chief 
Commissioner explaining the motives and objects of the 
expedition to the chiefs of the Myelat States, and wrote 
letters in his own name to the most prominent men. He 
made good use of the time also to explore roads and collect 
labour for improving them. 

On the 21st of January Mr. Hildebrand with the re- 


maider of the force joined Colonel Stedman at Singu. 
On the 27th of January the main body advanced to 
Kaukon, where another feeble attempt at resistance was 
made by some of Lawksawk's forces. On the following 
day numerous elders from the neighbouring villages came 
in and welcomed the British. The constant fighting 
between the Limbin's men and their opponents led by 
the Yawnghwe Sawbwa, had made life a burden to the 
people. The country was being depopulated. No one 
dared to sow, not knowing who would reap. 

On the 29th of January Pwehla was reached. The 
chief villagers and the Pongyis met the column outside 
the town, and a favourable and peaceable progress was 
anticipated. Hitherto there had been some apprehension 
lest the Sawbwa of Yawnghwe, who had represented 
himself as being hard pressed by the Limbin Confederacy, 
should be overpowered before help could reach him. It 
was now ascertained that this fear was unfounded. As 
there was no cause for haste, Mr. Hildebrand decided to 
take the opportunity of summoning the chiefs of the Myelat 
States to appear and to make their submission. There was 
an advantage, moreover, in giving the Lawksawk Sawbwa 
time to consider his position and to submit peacefully ; 
and with this object every endeavour was made by letter 
and messenger to explain the situation to him. 

On the 7th of February the force reached Bawyethat 
Pagoda, about half-way between Yawnghwe and Kugyo. 
Here it was met by the Sawbwa Saw On, who came with 
the full glory of Shan pomp to welcome the British repre- 
sentative. It was found that a body of men from Lawk- 
sawk had occupied Kugyo, which is in Yawnghwe territory. 
Mr. Hildebrand wished to send a letter to the commander 
to persuade him to retire his men, but no one could be 
found willing to carry it, for fear of the wild Kachins 
and Panthays said to be amongst his followers. There 
was nothing for it, therefore, but to attack Kugyo, which 
was taken on the 9th of February, without loss on our 
side. On the 10th the column made a formal entry into 
Yawnghwe and was received with much state by the 
Sawbwa. It had been intended to fix the headquarters 
of the British Administration a little way off, but the 


country was found to be low-lying and unhealthy. A site 
was chosen on the slope which leads up from the great 
lake of Yawnghwe to the Hsahtung range. A fort was 
built, and named after Colonel Stedman, the officer com- 
manding the force. Here the headquarters of the Super- 
intendent of the Southern Shan States were established. 

The arrival of the expedition at Yawnghwe was followed 
by an immediate change in the attitude of the neighbouring 
chiefs. By the middle of February Yawnghwe had been 
relieved and the bands attacking him dispersed. The whole 
of the Myelat had submitted, most of the chiefs appearing 
in person. To the south, Mongpai and others of import- 
ance had accepted the British suzerainty, some by letter 
and some in person. To the north, Lawksawk and Mong- 
ping held aloof, but it was hoped to induce them to come 
in. Laikha, Mongkung, and Kehsi Mansam had declared 
themselves on the British side. Letters were despatched 
to Mongnai and all the adjacent States, urging them to 
accept the supremacy of the British and to cease fighting 
amongst themselves. Letters were also sent to the chiefs 
of Karenni, offering friendship and suggesting a meeting. 

After the dispersal of the bands at Kugyo, the Limbin 
Confederacy had withdrawn their troops and the Con- 
federate chiefs had retired to their own territories. The 
Limbin had betaken himself to a place near Hopong. 
Nevertheless there was no sign of the Eastern States 
giving in and dissolving the Confederacy. Letters were 
again written to them. A special letter was addressed to 
the Limbin, promising him his liberty if he surrendered, 
with a sufficient pension and a house at Moulmein or 

While the results of these overtures were being awaited, 
it became urgent to attend to the quarrel between Mongpai, 
the most southerly of the Shan States, and Pobye, the 
chief of Western Karenni, which adjoins Mongpai on the 
south. A perennial feud existed between them, and at this 
time had broken out with fresh energy. Both the com- 
batants had written to Mr. Hildebrand praying him to send 
a British officer with a force to put a stop to the strife 
which was ruining the country. In answer to this appeal 
Mr. Scott, with a hundred Gurkhas under command of 


Captain Pulley, was sent southward to Payagon, where the 
Burmese garrison used to be stationed, and near which the 
Mongpai Sawbwa had now made his residence. They made 
the journey of seventy miles by boat down the Nam Pilu 
River through a fertile and irrigated country, which had 
evidently suffered much from both the contending factions. 

The Sawbwa received Mr. Scott with hospitality and 
welcomed the settlement of the Shan States under the 
British Crown. He said he had prayed for this and urged it 
on his compatriots for thirty years. " Now that the British 
have come," he exclaimed, " there will be peace." He 
asked for a British garrison at Payagon, as a protection 
against the Karennis, who raided the Shan country for 
slaves. The Shans were quite unable to withstand them, 
and men and women were carried off into hopeless slavery 
(vide Chapter XVII.). 

It had been intended that the force under Colonel Sted- 
man should return to Burma by the southern passes to 
Toungoo, and that Mr. Scott with the troops accompanying 
him should remain at or about Mongpai until the main 
body joined him. Owing to some military exigencies this 
plan was changed, and the expedition was ordered to return 
by the route by which it came. Captain Pulley with Mr. 
Scott's escort was recalled at once to Fort Stedman. Mr. 
Scott had to withdraw, leaving unsettled many matters, 
more especially the quarrel between Mongpai and the 
Karenni chief Pobye, and without waiting for several 
headmen of neighbouring districts who were on their way 
to meet him. This was unfortunate. 

After the return of Mr. Scott and his escort to Fort 
Stedman on the 7th of March, 1887, a long halt followed, 
during which voluminous correspondence was carried on 
with the various chiefs who held aloof and with the Lim- 
bin Prince, who it was hoped might be induced to sur- 
render and thus dissolve the Confederacy. The Prince was 
reported to be at Hopong. Letters were sent to him and 
to Mongnai, and to Mongpawn, inviting them to meet Mr. 
Hildebrand at Hopong on the 17th of March, and prepara- 
tions were made for the march. The difficulties of trans- 
port had been overcome, the pack-bullock baskets loaded 
up ; the coolies collected, and everything ready for a start, 


when letters were received from Mongpawn saying that he 
could not meet the Superintendent. Mongnai was at 
Gantarawadi, the capital of Eastern Karenni, witnessing 
the marriage of his nephew to a daughter of Sawlapaw, 
the Karenni chief. Mongnai's sister-in-law had died. She 
could not be buried until Mongnai returned. Until the 
funeral was over Mongnai could not attend to business, and 
without him the others could do nothing. Royalties are 
governed by conventions. 

It was obvious that Mongpawn's object was to gain time. 
To countermand the march, now that all preparations had 
been made and the forward movement widely made known 
was open to many objections. The Yawnghwe Sawbwa 
argued strongly against a change of plans, which he said 
would certainly be misinterpreted. Mr. Hildebrand, how- 
ever, decided to countermand the march. He wished to 
give the Confederacy full time to consider the alternatives 
before them. He held that a voluntary acknowledgment 
of British supremacy made from a conviction that it was 
the best course for their own interests would be more 
valuable even if it were delayed than an immediate sub- 
mission enforced by arms. 

This waiting policy was not free from some disadvantages. 
The delay in taking action was sure to be attributed to 
weakness. The time was used by Sawlapawgyi, who was 
hostile to the British, to urge the other Karenni chiefs and 
those Shan Sawbwas with whom he could communicate to 
hold aloof. In the neighbourhood of Yawnghwe and in the 
Myelat States generally signs of unrest and trouble were 
manifest. For the first time since the occupation of Fort 
Stedman mail-runners were stopped and robbed. The 
Sawbwa of Lawksawk, who remained openly and uncom- 
promisingly hostile, was thought to have instigated these 
outrages. It was resolved to strike the first blow at him. 
He was warned by letter that the Superintendent was 
coming to Lawksawk and ordered to remain at his capital 
to meet him. 

The difficulty of collecting transport had to be overcome 
again. The Yawnghwe Sawbwa for some cause was not 
zealous in assisting the expedition. For one reason he 
desired to make the most money he could out of the oppor- 


tunity, and made a very persistent effort to extort exorbitant 
rates for the carriage furnished. 

It was not until the 4th of April that the force began to 
march for Lawksawk. It moved by very easy stages. The 
various bands of marauders posted along the route to harass 
the march fled as the expedition advanced. These ruffians 
had been working in concert with dacoit gangs in the dis- 
tricts below the hills, who had thus been able to resist the 
British troops ; but now, finding themselves liable to be 
taken in the rear, very soon surrendered to the military post 
at Wundwin, an unexpected but very useful result of Mr. 
Hildebrand's action. Before the column reached Lawk- 
sawk the Sawbwa Saw Waing fled. The town was occu- 
pied on the llth of April. Temporary arrangements were 
made for administering the State by putting in charge a 
Burman, Bo Saing, who had held office under the King's 
Government and was acceptable to the people, and the 
force turned its face towards Hopong. 

Meanwhile fighting had been renewed in the south-east. 
Mongnai returned from Karenni with some men lent to him 
by Sawlapaw and drove Twet Nga Lu out of Kengtawng. 
Laikha, Mongkung, and Kehsi Mansam, who had been 
invited by Mr. Hildebrand to come to Hoypong to meet 
Mongnai and Mongpawn with a view to their reconcilia- 
tions, put their own interpretation on this invitation and 
attacked Mongpawn in force. Peremptory orders were 
sent to them to withdraw. When the force entered 
Hopong on the 17th of April, the day appointed for meet- 
ing Mongpawn and the Limbin Prince, the town was found 
in ruins and all but deserted. The Limbin had not come, 
and Mongpawn was occupied in defending himself against 
his enemies. The intelligence received showed that Laikha 
and his allies had not obeyed the order to withdraw their 
men. Finding that an engagement was in progress a few 
miles off, Mr. Hildebrand and Mr. Scott with forty Mounted 
Infantry and fifty Punjabis under Major Swetenham rode 
for the scene of the fight, which went on for a short time 
unchecked by the arrival of the British party. The oppos- 
ing forces had stockaded positions on the opposite slopes of 
a small valley, and were firing briskly on each other. Mong- 
pawn was induced to cease firing. The Assistant Superin- 



tendent, Mr. Scott, went up to the stockade of the attacking 
party, and the leaders were soon persuaded to withdraw 
their men, who for their part were only too glad to go to 
their homes. When the British retired to Mongpawn in 
the evening, they left the opposing leaders mingled together 
in good-humoured talk, bragging of the desperate deeds of 
valour performed in the combat. 

A few days were spent at Mongpawn. The Sawbwa 
Hkun Ti is described as a man of strong character, " the 
moving spirit in the Limbin Confederacy." He was quite 
ready, however, to give up this coalition and to transfer 
his allegiance to the Queen-Empress. He advised the 
despatch of a party to Mongnai to hoist the British flag 
and to bring in the Limbin Prince. The rains were now 
well on, and marching had become very difficult. It was 
decided, therefore, not to take the whole force but to send 
the Assistant Superintendent with fifty rifles under Lieu- 
tenant Wallace to Mongnai. The Superintendent with the 
main body marched back to Fort Stedman. 

Mr. Scott was detained for some days in Mongpawn 
waiting for rations. The time was well employed. Two 
of the minor chiefs, Naungmawn (a brother of Mongpawn) 
and Mongsit (Mongpawn' s son-in-law, and half-brother 
of Mawknai), came and tendered their allegiance. Others 
offered their submission by messenger and promised to 
meet the Assistant Superintendent at Mongnai, which they 
said was the place of assemblage for the Shan States from 
ancient times. More than this, very friendly relations 
were established during this halt between the people and 
the troops. The Myozas (headmen) from the neighbouring 
villages came round every evening for rifle-practice with 
the officers; and it is recorded that Mongpawn and his 
brother made very good shooting. The troops were paraded 
and manoeuvred for their entertainment. Notwithstanding 
these courtesies, however, no promise to surrender the 
Limbin Prince could be obtained from these chiefs. " It 
must depend," they said, " on his own decision." They 
suggested that better terms should be offered to him. " This 
was an instance," says Mr. Hildebrand, " of the way in 
which the Shan chiefs cling together, and of the sanctity 
they attach to an oath," Although the Limbin's cause 


and the ideas on which it was based were hopelessly lost, 
they would not coerce him to surrender. 

On the 2nd of May Mr. Scott's party began their march, 
and entered Mongnai on the 5th, having suffered from 
heavy and incessant rain all the way. After crossing the 
Mewettaung Eange, they entered a level valley which extends 
to Kengtawng on the south-east and up northward as far 
as Laikha. The altitude of this valley is about 4,000 feet. 
It is the centre of the silk cultivation, the eggs and larvae 
being imported periodically from the Chinese provinces 
of Yunnan and Szechuen. When the party passed through 
the whole district had been ravaged by men from Laikha, 
and only a few almost empty villages survived. Twet Nga 
Lu from Kengtawng had also been at work, and on the 
last march of seventeen miles into Mongnai most of the 
villages were found in ruins. They had been burnt by 
his marauders two months before. 

The description of Mongnai at this time is worth quoting 
(Mr. Hildebrand's Keport, June 22, 1887, par. 97). 

"From the north there is a long avenue-like approach 
to Mongnai. The walls of the ancient city still exist in 
a very dilapidated state. They are about 20 feet high 
and machicolated. The city was about 1,000 yards square, 
and there remain signs of extensive suburbs. Everything, 
however, has been destroyed. Of ten thousand houses only 
three hundred (mostly recently built) remain ; out of one 
hundred and twenty monasteries only three are left stand- 
ing. The Sawbwa himself lives in a bamboo house, instead 
of the former teak- wood haw (palace). The interior of the 
city walls is all jungle-grown." 

It is as well to put on record some description of the 
condition in which the British found the Shan States. A few 
years hence we shall be denounced as the ruthless destroyers 
of a country which we had found wealthy and prosperous. 

The Sawbwa of Mongnai came in unpretentious fashion 
to see Mr. Scott the day after his arrival. His superiority 
in breeding and character to most of the chiefs was marked, 
He made no difficulty about accepting British supremacy, 
and proffered all his influence to induce the other chiefs 
to follow his example. The typical character of the Shans 
as a race of traders came out in his request that his sub- 


mission to British authority should be made known in 
Moulmein. In former times there was a good trade in 
timber with the Moulmein merchants. When they were 
informed of the establishment of peace this trade he an- 
ticipated would revive. 

It remained to induce the Lirnbin Prince to submit 
and to accompany Mr. Scott to Fort Stedman. This was 
not a question of very high diplomacy, but it required some 
skill, tact, and patience to induce the Prince to make a 
voluntary surrender. It would have been very easy to 
have arrested and removed him by force. Such action, 
however, would have been distasteful to the Shan chiefs 
and might have rendered it more difficult to dispose of 
other pretenders still remaining in the Northern States. 
The Prince showed himself to be a poor creature, whose 
chief characteristic was an immeasurable conceit. He was, 
after all, only the illegitimate son of the Ein-she-min, or 
War Prince, who was the brother of King Mindon. But 
Burmans and Shans, like some other people, if a man 
is a prince, do not ask too curiously what sort of a prince 
he may be. When he left Mongnai, mounted on an 
elephant, with his gong beating, great numbers of people 
knelt down by the roadside as he passed, and similar respect 
was shown to him at other places. Notwithstanding his 
conceit, he did not put a very high price on his submission. 
This descendant of kings, who had left his refuge in 
British Burma to become the head of a great Shan Con- 
federacy to be formed on the model of the German Empire, 
was glad to barter his lofty ambition for a stipend of ^616 
sterling a month and a house at Rangoon, or Moulmein, 
or elsewhere. 

While the Prince was making arrangements for the 
journey, the Assistant Superintendent with Lieutenant 
Wallace, 27th Punjab Infantry, and Lieutenant Jackson, 
E.E., rode to Mawkmai, some twenty-five miles over rolling 
country covered with scrub-oak forest. They found Mawk- 
mai situated in a fine valley 120 miles in extent, irrigated 
from the Nam Nyim River, and well cultivated; the 
main crop being paddy. The town was in good order, 
well built and prosperous. " The one town," records Mr. 
Scott, " in the Shan States that has not been destroyed in 


the inter- State wars." The trade relations between Mawk- 
mai and Moulmein are close ; the Salween in the rainy 
season being navigable and affording good means of 
communication . 

The British officers were received with courtesy and 
hospitality by the Sawbwa and <his officials. The suzerainty 
of the Queen-Empress was accepted as a matter of course. 
The only anxiety of the chief was in respect of the duty 
likely to be imposed on exported timber, which had been 
severely taxed by King Thebaw. 

On the llth of May the party returned to Mongnai. The 
attitude of the Sawbwa Kun Kyi was excellent. He assured 
Mr. Scott that he would be able to promise the submission 
of the Trans- Sal ween States, who all looked to him as 
their leader, and to Mongnai as their place of assemblage. 
He asked as a special favour to himself, and as a confirma- 
tion of his authority, that he might be allowed to fly the 
British flag over his residence. This request was granted. 
In the evening the British officers with a small guard of 
honour went to the Sawbwa's haw, or palace, where a 
flagstaff had been prepared, and the Union Jack was run 
up by Mr. Scott, the bugles sounding a general salute 
and the troops presenting arms. A great number of 
people from Mongnai and the neighbouring villages were 
present. They saluted the flag in their customary attitude of 
respect, on their knees, and when the troops marched off 
the Sawbwa's band struck up. What march it played 
has not been recorded. 

The Limbin Prince had now made his arrangements 
for the journey, and on the 13th the party started for 
Fort Stedman, which was reached on the 20th of May. The 
route lay over a road which had not been used for a year 
and which the contending parties had endeavoured to make 
impassable. Four sepoys and several camp-followers were 
spiked in the feet. But for this mishap the three weeks' 
march from Mongpawn round by Mongnai would have been 
accomplished without having a single man on the sick- 
list ; and this although there had been much rain, especially 
on the return journey. After five days' rest the Limbin 
Prince was sent under escort to the plains, and passed 
into obscurity, 


On the 22nd of June the Superintendent was able to report 
from Fort Stedman : " The Southern Shan States have now 
all given in their submission ; caravans of cattle and pedlars 
move about from State to State with perfect freedom and 
confidence, a condition of things which has hardly existed 
since the accession of King Thebaw in 1879." (Mr. Hilde- 
brand's Eeport, June 22, 1887, par. 147.) 


THE SHAN STATES (continued) 

THE narrative in the last chapter took the history down 
to the end of June, 1887, when comparative peace 
had been established in the Southern States. 

The Northern States up to this time had not come 
under the influence of the Superintendent at Fort Stedman. 
The Chief Commissioner had decided that no expedition 
should be sent into those States until after the rains of 
1887, unless it became absolutely necessary for the support 
of the friendly Sawbwa of Hsipaw. The chief had been able, 
as has been explained (p. 147), with the alliance of San 
Ton Hon to hold his own and to defeat their opponents 
headed by Naw Mong and the Chaunggwa Prince. If 
he had stopped at that point much misery and destruction 
would have been saved. But Hkun Saing's vanity had 
been inflated by the reception he had received at Mandalay 
when ten years' revenue had been remitted to him and 
the States of Mongtung, Manglon, and Hsumhsai made 
over to him, and he cherished visions of further aggran- 
disement. San Ton Hon was very much of the same 

After defeating the Prince they turned their forces 
southward and made an attack on Hsenwi Alelet, where 
comparative peace had been maintained by the Pa-ok-chok 
at Mongyai. San Ton Hon led his troops down by 
the east while Hsipaw's men, under the Sawbwa's father-in- 
law, went by the west. Mr. Hildebrand had heard of 
their designs and sent them orders to desist. The allies 
persisted, however, alleging that they were acting under 
instructions from Mandalay. Mongyai was occupied. The 
Pa-ok-chok and Naw Mong, who was with him, escaped 



to Mongnawng and sent messengers to Fort Stedman 
praying for redress. They were ordered to remain quiet 
until the Superintendent should come to Hsenwi. San 
Ton Hon remained in Mongyai making arrangements for 
administering the district. He then left for the town 
of Hsenwi in obedience to a further order from Mr. 
Hildebrand. By the end of August, 1887, peace had been 
restored, that is to say, active fighting had ceased in the 
Northern States, and the contending parties awaited 
the coming of the Superintendent to settle their claims. 
Little harm would have resulted from the turbulence of 
Hsipaw and San Ton Hon if they had restrained their 
followers from ravaging the country. These bandits, San 
Ton Hon's Kachins at the head of them, had burnt 
and destroyed everything. Thus the autumn of 1887 saw 
the cessation of bloodshed in both the Northern and 
Southern States. All w r ere beginning to look to the British 
representative at Fort Stedman as the final arbitrator 
of disputes, and trade began to revive. 

Meanwhile the objects to be aimed at and the measures 
to be taken in the ensuing open season of 1887-8 were 
occupying the Chief Commissioner. Mr. Hildebrand was 
invited to Mandalay, and the subject was fully discussed 
and settled in consultation with him. The main lines of 
the policy to be followed in relation to the States 
were defined. The conditions upon which the chiefs 
were to hold their States under the British Government 
were determined and embodied in a patent, or sanad, to 
use the Indian term, for the greater chiefs, and in a 
letter of appointment for the lesser. By the sanad the 
recipient was recognized as a feudatory chief and em- 
powered to govern his territories in all matters whether 
criminal, civil, or revenue, and was authorized to 
nominate for the approval of the Government a fit person 
according to Shan usage to be his successor. These privileges 
were made subject to certain conditions, one of which was 
the payment of a tribute, settled for five years at the 
amount previously paid to the King, and liable to revision 
thereafter. The forests and royalties on all minerals 
and precious stones were reserved to the Government. 
Order was to be maintained by the chief, the rights and 



customs of the people were to be respected, and trade 
protected. All disputes arising between one State and 
another were to be referred to the Superintendent, at whose 
headquarters the chief was to maintain an agent or repre- 
sentative. The order of appointment given to the lesser 
men bound them to pay the revenue assessed by 
the Superintendent, and in all matters connected with the 
administration of their districts to conform to the instruc- 
tions and orders issued by the Chief Commissioner or the 

It was decided that each chief or ruler, whether known 
by the title of Sawbwa or some lesser designation, should 
be required to appear in person, to make a declaration 
of allegiance, and to subscribe to the terms of his sanad. 
Where there were rival claimants, weight was to be given 
to the fait accompli, and to considerations of expediency 
rather than to those of abstract right or justice. It was 
not held incumbent on the British Government to go 
behind existing facts or to inquire how the man in 
possession came by his power, provided he appeared to 
be a person capable of maintaining order. 

Some matters of importance hitherto unsettled were 
decided by the Chief Commissioner at this time. The 
important State of Lawksawk had been Left in temporary 
charge of a Burman Myook (vide page 154). There was 
a man named Hkun Nu who had been the (hereditary) 
Myoza of a small State called Tabet by the Burmans, 
Tamhpak by the Shans. He had been deposed about 1892 
by the Burman Government because he could not raise 
the revenue demanded from the State. He lived in great 
poverty in Mandalay until the deposition of the King. His 
case coming to the Chief Commissioner's notice, a small 
allowance, enough to keep him alive, was made to him. 
Hkun Nu proved himself useful in giving information about 
the Shan country and in taking letters, not without some 
personal risk, to various potentates. He accompanied the 
expedition to the Shan States early in 1887, and was found 
by Mr. Hildebrand to be both intelligent and trustworthy 
and to be a person of some influence in the Shan country. 
On Mr. Hildebrand's recommendation, and with the good- 
will of many of the notables of Lawksawk, and of some 


of the principal Sawbwas such as Mongnai and Mongpawn, 
he was appointed by the Chief Commissioner to be Sawbwa 
of Lawksawk, a territory of 4,048 square miles and paying 
a gross revenue of Es. 27,297. Thus from being the dis- 
missed magistrate of a petty district, earning a small wage 
as a guide and messenger, Hkun Nu became the ruler of 
a considerable and wealthy State by a sudden turn of the 
wheel of fortune. It may be recorded here that the State 
prospered under him. On his death in 1900 he was 
succeeded by his son, who was summoned to Rangoon in 
1906, and presented to their Royal Highnesses the Prince 
and Princess of Wales. He received the decoration of 
K.S.M. on the 1st of January, 1907, and has done much 
in the way of road-making and otherwise to improve his 

Another matter that came up was the Sawbwa of 
Mongnai 's claim to the adjacent State of Kengtawng, which 
had been made over by the Burmese Government to Twet 
Nga Lu. Orders were now passed confirming the Sawbwa's 
title to administer Kengtawng as a State subordinate 
to him. 

Many important questions remained, which could not 
be settled until the Superintendent was able to visit each 
State with a sufficient military escort to mark his authority 
and to render opposition improbable. Hsenwi was in a 
disturbed and distracted condition and had to be pacified 
and arrangements made for its administration. The method 
in which the group of smaller States on the western edge 
of the plateau known as the Myelat was to be administered 
had also to be considered and decided. The nearness of 
these States to Mandalay had resulted in diminishing their 
independence. Their position was in fact not much dif- 
ferent from that of a purely Burman district. Then there 
were the Trans-Salween States, with which communi- 
cation had not as yet been established. Five of the smallest 
of these had been claimed by the Siamese. Another 
very difficult matter was the attitude of the Karennis, 
whose relations with the British Government it was 
necessary to define. In the case of every State, big or 
little, the amount paid as revenue during the King's time 
had to be ascertained, the tribute payable to the British 


Government to be determined, and engagements to be 
taken for its regular payment. 

In Mr. Hildebrand's expedition in the beginning of 1887 
only one force had been employed. Experience showed 
that the area to be dealt with was too large for one column. 
While the force was in the south, fighting and disturbances 
were going on in the north. The appearance of two 
expeditions, one starting from Mandalay and visiting the 
north, the other from Fort Stedman, taking the Southern 
States and then moving up to combine with the first, would 
make a greater impression than a single force of much 
larger strength. Rumour would magnify the numbers of 
each, and if opposition were contemplated by any of the 
chiefs, he would not know where to direct his attack. 
For these reasons it was decided to employ two columns. 
The larger, under command of Major Swetenham, 27th 
P.I., was composed of : 

2 guns 1-1 Eastern Division, R.A. 
50 rifles West Surrey Regiment. 
150 rifles 27th P.I. 

25 British). 

n* XT A- i Mounted Infantry. 

25 Native j 

20 lances 1st Bombay Lancers. 

It assembled at Fort Stedman, and was called the Southern 
Shan Column. 

The smaller column was commanded by Major Yates, 
1-1 Eastern Division, R.A., and included the following 
troops : 

2 guns 1-1 Eastern Division, R.A. 
50 rifles Royal Munster Fusiliers. 
100 rifles 43 G.L.I. (Bombay Army). 
50 rifles-Native | Mounted Infantry> 
25 rifles BritishJ 

This column was designated the Northern Shan Column. 
Its starting-point was Maymyo (Pyinulwin), forty miles 
from Mandalay. 

To Mr. Hildebrand, as Superintendent of the Shan States, 
was given the chief political charge, and, within certain 


limits laid down by the Chief Commissioner, the movements 
of the columns and the measures to be taken for the 
pacification of the country were left to his discretion. He 
was to accompany the Southern Column, and Mr. J. G. 
Scott was appointed to go with him as his Assistant. 
Lieutenant H. Daly was posted as civil officer with the 
Northern Column. In all political matters he was placed 
entirely under Mr. Hildebrand, and was told that he 
was to act, and only to act, under his instructions. 

The relations of Mr. Hildebrand to the military 
officers in command of the columns were carefully 
defined. The primary object of the expeditions was to 
establish peace, decide disputes, and lay the foundations 
of orderly rule for the future. The need of warlike 
operations was not anticipated. The military officers 
commanding were instructed therefore to give to the civil 
officers every assistance in carrying out the wishes of 
Government that could be given with due regard to the 
safety and well-being of the troops. In the event of 
hostilities becoming necessary, then the civil officer was 
to stand aside while the soldiers became solely responsible 
for the planning and carrying out of the necessary opera- 
tions. The maintenance of the strictest discipline was 
enjoined, and the most scrupulous exactitude in paying 
for labour and supplies. Troops and followers were 
made to understand that they were operating in a friendly 

Instructions were given to Mr. Hildebrand as to the 
route to be taken by each column, the matters demanding 
his attention, and the principles by which he was to be 
guided. Mr. Daly with the Northern Column was to 
move through Hsipaw to Northern Hsenwi, then to 
Tawngpeng, the chief of which State was still recal- 
citrant ; and thence returning to Hsipaw, he was to 
march to Mongyai in Central Hsenwi. 

Mr. Hildebrand with the Southern Column was to go 
to Mongpai, thence to Mawkmai, thence to Mongpan, 
and then to Mongnai, which was a convenient centre for 
the settlement of many matters. After a halt there, which 
it was anticipated might extend to several weeks, the 
column was to turn northward and march through the 


intervening States to Mongyai, which it was to reach about 
the same time as the Northern Column. The idea was 
to bring the two columns together in Hsenwi, where the 
contending parties of San Ton Hon, Naw Hpa, Naw 
Mong and Nga Aw the Pa-ok-chok, whom San Ton Hon 
and the Hsipaw Sawbwa had expelled from Mongyai, were 
expected to give trouble. At Mongyai, the settlement 
of the large State of Hsenwi the most difficult, perhaps, 
of the duties entrusted to Mr. Hildebrand would have to 
be taken in hand. 

The Southern Column started on the 22nd of November, 
1887, on its five months' march through the States. 
Before it moved, the chiefs of the Myelat and the Sawbwas 
and Myozas of States in the neighbourhood of Fort 
Stedman, were called in ; the revenue to be paid by each 
was fixed, and the drafts of their sanads and letters of 
appointment given to them. There was no difficulty with 
any of them except Saw On, the Sawbwa of Yawnghwe, 
who owed his position to the support afforded to him by 
the British Government. He objected to the payment of 
revenue, and feigned illness to avoid appearing before the 
Superintendent. He made it almost impossible to get 
coolies or bullocks, except directly through him and at 
most exorbitant rates. He exhibited, in fact, a fine example 
of a swollen head. But it may be that he partly believed 
in the truth of some absurd stories respecting the with- 
drawal of the British from Burma, which he was found 
afterwards to have spread abroad. 

The first halt was made at Kaung-i, the residence of the 
Mongpai Sawbwa. The settlement of the chronic feud 
between him and Pobye, the Karenni chief, was the main 
business here. Pobye appeared, and the Superintendent 
heard both parties. After vainly endeavouring to bring 
them to an agreement, Mr. Hildebrand induced them to 
pledge themselves to abide by the Chief Commissioner's 
decision, and meanwhile to keep the peace. At a later 
date, they submitted their case at Kangoon to the Chief 
Commissioner, who settled the dispute. . . . 

At Mongpai every effort was made without success to 
induce Sawlapaw, the powerful chief of Eastern Karenni, 
to come in and arrange a modus vivendi with the British 



authorities. He remained obstinately hostile, and had 
to be chastised later on. 

At this halt, where several chiefs were assembled, the 
principle of succession ruling in the Shan States was 
discussed. It appeared that as a rule succession devolved 
on the eldest son of the chief wife : failing her male 
issue, on the eldest male issue of the next wife. Failing 
heirs in the direct line, the succession went to collaterals. 
This was shown to be the ancient custom not to be 
departed from except in the case of obvious unfitness of 
the heir for the duties of his position either from incapacity 
or from vice. In Loilong and Hsahtung some questions 
relating to minor chief ships were settled. It was found 
that on this south-western frontier of the Shan States 
the inhabitants were mostly Karens and kindred races 
split up into small tribes speaking different dialects, timid 
and shy people submitting to the tyranny of dacoits 
and outlaws who sought a refuge in their hills from the 
pursuit of the police and troops in the low country. 

The column marched through the Mawkmai territory to 
Mongpan. No special matter had been marked for settle- 
ment in Mawkmai. But it was noted that the villagers in 
the south stood in great fear of Sawlapaw, and paid black- 
mail to him. Work in the forests of Southern and South- 
eastern Mawkmai had been stopped on account of the 
hostility of the Karenni chief. The adjacent country was 
practically deserted, and the complaints against Sawlapaw 
were loud. Mawkmai, however, at this time was the most 
wealthy and prosperous of the Shan States, and the Sawbwa 
seemed powerful enough to hold his own against any of his 

From Mawkmai the column went on to Mongpan. Here 
they met the Siamese Commissioners and Mr. Archer, His 
Majesty's Acting Vice-Consul at Chiengmai (Zimme), who 
had come to discuss the claim made by the Bangkok Govern- 
ment to some small States east of the Salween. Mongpan 
had been taken and burnt by the filibuster Twet Nga Lu, 
who had so far recognized British authority that after his 
expulsion from Kengtawng by Kun Kyi, the Mongnai 
Sawbwa, he came to Fort Stedman and laid his claim before 
the Superintendent. It was considered and rejected by the 


Chief Commissioner. Thereupon he collected a regiment 
of bravi, as numerous in the Shan States in 1887 as in Italy 
of the Middle Ages, and descending on Kengtawng burnt 
whatever had escaped former devastations. Compelled to 
retreat by the Sawbwa's men, he retired south on Mongpan, 
and captured it in December, 1887. Again driven out by 
the Mongnai troops, he fell back beyond the Salween, the 
Mongnai men following him. But as the pursuit led them 
into the territory of Mongtung and Mong Hang, which 
were claimed by the Siamese, they were ordered by the 
Superintendent to retire to the right bank of the Salween. 
Twet Nga Lu was left encamped close to Mongtung, where 
a small Siamese garrison was stationed, and he thus escaped 
for the time. He was proclaimed a rebel and dacoit and 
every chief in the Shan States was desired to treat him as 
an outlaw. This was the situation at Mongpan when the 
Southern Column met Mr. Archer and the Siamese Com- 
missioners at that place. 

The four States in dispute with Siam were Mongtung, 
Mong Hang, Mong Hta, and Mong Kyawt. They were 
claimed by the British Government as part of the un- 
doubtedly Burman State Mongpan, but had been occupied 
secretly by the Siamese. A fifth, Mong Hsat, was also 
claimed by them, but no garrison had been placed in it. It 
was and always had been a dependency of Kengtung, with 
which the Siamese could not pretend to have any connection. 
The Siamese claim had its origin in the conduct of the local 
rulers (Phayas) of these little territories in the disturbed 
times following the overthrow of King Thebaw. 

The Mawkmai Sawbwa made a successful attack on Mong- 
pan in the cold season of 1886-7. Earlier in the same 
year the Siamese had moved up a large force from Chieng- 
mai, ostensibly to assist the British in maintaining order : 
more probably in the hope of picking up some fragments 
for themselves when the Burman Government went to 
pieces. Under these circumstances the local rulers, 
threatened with burning and robbery by Mawkmai, with 
invasion and slavery by Siam, sought the protection of the 
more powerful Siamese and drank the water of allegiance to 
Chiengmai. This was the only foundation for the claim 
made by the Bangkok Government. Their assertion that 


the States had been under Siam for a century had nothing 
to support it. The population was admittedly Shan. A 
report of the facts was drawn up and sent to the Chief 
Commissioner. Meanwhile a modus vivendi was arranged 
by Mr. Hildebrand with the Siamese Commissioner on the 
basis of maintaining the status quo, preserving peace, and 
abstaining from working the forests in the States until the 
dispute was settled by the Governments of the two countries. 
It may be stated here that a decision in favour of the British 
claim was announced in 1888 and effect given to it. Four 
States were restored to Mongpan, and possession of the 
fifth, Mong Hsat, confirmed to Kengtung. 

The State of Mongpan contains a broad area of good paddy 
land, and in former times exported large quantities of paddy. 
When Mr. Hildebrand visited it he found the lands devas- 
tated. With the one exception of Laikha it had suffered 
more than any other Shan State. The town had been 
repeatedly burnt by filibusters. The great bulk of the 
population had fled over the Salween and scattered through 
the smaller States, some even going as far as Chiengmai 
(Zimme) and Kengtung. Leaving Mongpan, the column 
reached Mongnai on the 7th of January, 1888, and halted 
there for some weeks. Mongnai had been the place of 
assemblage of the Cis- Sal ween chiefs in the King's time. 
All of them had been warned in advance to meet Mr. 
Hildebrand at Mongnai, and all except the Sawbwa of 
Laikha, the Myozas of Mong Kung and Kehsi Mansam, 
who had started too late, were present. The chiefs 
assembled at Mongnai were : 

The Mongnai Sawbwa. The Hsahtung Myoza. 

The Mongpawn Sawbwa. The Mongsit Myoza. 

The Mongpan Sawbwa. The Mongnawng Myoza. 

The Mawkmai Sawbwa. The Hopong Myoza. 

The Wanyin Myoza. The Keng Hkam Myoza. 

The Nawng Wawn Myoza. The Nam Hkok Myoza. 

Naw Mong, son of Naw Hpa, who was claimant of 
Hsenwi, and Kun Aw, who was Pa-ok-chok of Mongyai 
in Hsenwi Alelet, and had been ejected by San Ton Hon 
and Hkun Sa, the exiled chief of Mongtung, were also 


The question of tribute was one in which all took 
a keen interest, and it was fully discussed. The right of 
the British Government to demand tribute was not con- 
tested. But the manner of it, whether it should be in the 
form of annual presents or of money to be raised from 
the people by a house tax, was the subject of dispute. The 
exemption for ten years which had been given to the Sawbwa 
of Hsipaw caused much heartburning and led to demands 
for a similar indulgence. 

Eventually, however, all agreed to pay tribute, the amount 
for the next five years being that which had been paid 
yearly in King Mindon's time. 

The Trans- Sal ween States from various causes did not 
appear at Mongnai. But a dispute between Mawkmai and 
Mongnai regarding the right to a small Trans- Salween 
State of Mong Pu was settled satisfactorily in favour of 
Mongnai. Mawkmai's claim had no strong foundation, 
and after the facts had been set forth, the Sawbwa accepted 
them and yielded in a peaceable and graceful fashion. It 
was evident that already the authority of the British 
Government had been acknowledged by all, and that its 
decisions would be obeyed. 

On the 20th of January Mr. Hildebrand held a Durbar, 
which all the chiefs, and a very great number of the smaller 
folk, attended. The draft patents and letters of appointment 
were given to the chiefs, along with suitable presents, and 
the advantages of the peace which would follow the estab- 
lishment of British authority were pointed out to them by 
the Superintendent in a speech. A march past and a sham- 
fight by the troops gave them an opportunity of comparing 
British disciplined and trained troops with their own dis- 
orderly and ill-equipped followers. Sports followed the 
Durbar, affording amusement to all and giving a common 
ground on which all could unite. The wisdom and the 
excellent results of holding these meetings cannot be 

On the 22nd of January, 1888, the column left Mongnai 
and started on its way to Mongyai, where it will be recol- 
lected (p. 166) it was to meet with the Northern Column 
and Mr. Daly. The route to be taken on this march had 
been left by the Chief Commissioner to Mr. Hildebrand's 


discretion. Is has been seen that the Laikha group of 
States were not represented at the Durbar. The Superin- 
tendent, therefore, instead of taking the route to the east 
through Mongnawng, which was reputed to be the shorter, 
took a western road leading through Laikha, Mong Kung, 
and Kehsi Mansam. It proved to be the easiest route that 
could have been followed, and showed the troops to as large 
a number of States as possible. 

On the second march out the Sawbwa of Laikha and the 
Myoza of Mong Kung were met coming to meet the Superin- 
tendent. They turned and marched with the column. 
They said that difficulties in procuring supplies had delayed 
them, and the truth of this statement was proved by the 
appearance of the countryside when the next march brought 
the force into Laikha territory a wide billowy plain not 
long ago closely cultivated and well peopled : now deserted 
and waste. " The face of the land," wrote the Superin- 
tendent, " was deserted and desolate as an American pampas 
or a Eussian steppe. We marched along the main north 
road which had clearly been not long since a wide thorough- 
fare travelled over by many men and many cattle. Now it 
was narrowed to a mere path which encroaching bushes and 
rank grass threatened at no great distance of time altogether 
to obliterate. Marks of tigers were seen here and there on 
the clay trodden hard by the feet of many wayfarers now no 
more to be seen. The few householders who remained were 
gaunt with hunger, and had not energy enough left to pull 
up the bamboo spikes which had been placed in the ground 
during the fighting which was the primary cause of all this 
misery, emphasized by the famine which succeeded as a 
necessary result. The Hsen (local headman) spiked his foot 
coming out to meet the column." 

The description of the town of Laikha is not less melan- 
choly. It has been on the decline for years. " Civil wars 
and local disturbances have ruined it slowly but surely." 
It was one of the finest and wealthiest places in the State, 
and there were many splendid monasteries and elaborate 
pagodas. These were found deserted and falling to pieces, 
the shrines left to moulder away without a single pious 
offering, the jungle coming up to their very thresholds and 
creepers tearing the bricks asunder. 


Leaving Laikha on the 30th of January, three marches 
brought the column to Mongkung, a State blessed with 
very fertile soil and good streams. But here also local 
dissension and Burman interference had brought ruin. On 
the death of the chief (designated Myoza}, one Hkun Saing 
was able by bribery or intrigue to procure an order from 
Mandalay giving him the succession. The people, however, 
clung to the rightful heir, the son of the deceased Myoza, a 
boy of ten or twelve. Hkun Sang persuaded the neighbour- 
ing State of Mongnawng to take his part. Kehsi Mansam 
took the boy's side. Nearly every village in both States 
was burnt, and the able-bodied men were too absorbed in 
the fight to till the soil. Kuin and famine followed in the 
track of the fighting, which did not cease until our troops 
arrived on the Shan plateau. The only villages to which 
any prosperity remained were those in the hills inhabited 
by tribes of a Karen origin who held aloof from Shan 
politics. At Mongkung the minor chief of Mongsang and 
Monghsu came to see the Superintendent. Here also news 
came that Mr. Daly with the Northern Column had reached 
Hsenwi and had received from Sang Ton Hon a promise 
that he would come to Mongyai. This hopeful information 
regarding San Ton Hon enabled the Superintendent to 
issue a proclamation in Shan to the monks, headmen, and 
elders of Hsenwi, assuring them that a settlement of their 
affairs would certainly be made and ordering them to attend 
at Mongyai. 

From Mongkung to Kehsi Mansam was four marches 
through a country marked by the ravages of war. Never- 
theless the Myoza, " an undersized, insignificant-looking 
creature, addicted to the use of opium," was not too de- 
pressed to come out fifteen miles to meet the column, which 
he played into the town with a band of local musicians and 
dancers leading the way. 

Matters relating to some minor States were discussed 
at Kehsi Mansam, and the peaceful settlement of Hsenwi 
seemed not distant. But it was sanguine to expect that 
people who had been engaged in petty wars for years would 
take suddenly to the ways of peace. The lion does not all 
at once lie down with the lamb, nor it might be said more 
appropriately does the jackal make peace with the wild dog. 


Two days after the arrival of the column at Kehsi Mansam 
it was reported that an attack had been made on Mongyai 
and San Ton Hon's deputy driven out. The men who 
headed this adventure were nephews of the Pa-ok-chok 
and gave out that they were acting for that personage with 
the Superintendent's approval. As the Pa-ok-chok and 
Naw Mong had accompanied the force ever since it marched 
from Mongnai, it was feared that this story might seem 
probable to San Ton Hon and might prevent him from 
coming to Mongyai. Letters, therefore, were sent to 
reassure him and to explain that the expulsion of his 
man from Mongyai would not influence the decision of 
the Superintendent. 

From Kehsi Mansam, passing through the Alelet or 
Central Division of Hsenwi, the column reached Mongyai 
on the 15th of February, 1888. Mr. Daly, with the 
Northern Column, joined Mr. Hildebrand on the 1st of 
March. Kun San Ton Hon came with him. Meanwhile 
all the headmen of various denominations, uncouth to 
English ears, Myozas, Heins, Seins, Ta Mongs, and Kin 
Mongs, had collected in obedience to the Superintendent's 
summons, and were busy no doubt in discussing the situation 
and the best methods of settlement and comparing the 
present condition of the State broken up into petty 
divisions, none of them powerful enough for self-defence, 
with the comparative order which had prevailed when it 
was under its hereditary Sawbwas, who could show an 
unbroken succession for two hundred years. 

On the 1st of March, when San Ton Hon arrived with 
Mr. Daly, all the Hsenwi claimants were assembled at 
Mongyai. Naw Mong representing his father, Naw Hpa, 
who was a refugee with the Kachins in the north ; Sang Aw, 
the Pa-ok-chok, who claimed the Central Division ; and San 
Ton Hon, who claimed the whole State. Naw Hpa was 
pronounced on all sides to be too old and infirm to rule. 
Naw Mong claimed as his heir and representative the whole 
of Hsenwi, excepting some of the southern subdivisions, 
which had been given independence in the King's time. 
His attitude was most reasonable. He confessed his obliga- 
tions to the British Government. Unless they had occupied 
Mandalay and removed Thebaw, he and his sister would 


have been lying still in hopeless imprisonment. He was 
ready to bow to the Superintendent's decision, whatever it 
might be. The Pa-ok-chok was even more accommodating. 
He was an old worn man whose only title to be considered 
in the matter was that he had preserved the peace in the 
Central Division at a critical time. He would be quite con- 
tent if he were permitted to administer Mongyai. San Ton 
Hon, who had no rightful title to any part of Hsenwi, not 
unnaturally laid claim to all the country that was or had 
been known by that name. On reflection, however, he 
adopted an attitude of greater humility and declared his 
willingness to abide by the decision of the Superintendent. 

The points to which the Superintendent's inquiry should 
be directed had been laid down by the Chief Commissioner 
in the instructions given him. Amongst other points, such 
as the history of the several claimants, their sources of 
influence and their ability and power to govern, the Chief 
Commissioner had laid stress on the real wishes of the 
people of Hsenwi as a whole or of such parts of it as 
should be separately considered. "You should then," he 
wrote, "pending a full reference to the Chief Commissioner, 
make such arrangements for the administration of Theinni 
[Hsenwi] as you deem most fitting, bearing in mind that 
the great object to be attained is peace in the country. You 
must not be guided either in your provisional arrangements 
or in your recommendations solely by considerations of 
abstract right or abstract justice. You must give great 
weight to considerations of expediency and keep promi- 
nently before your mind that Theinni [Hsenwi] must have 
strong permanent Government in order to ensure peace and 
prosperity; and that the chief or chiefs must be both 
friendly to the British Government and ready and able to 
give proof of friendship by prompt and powerful action 
should such be necessary." The question whether the 
policy should be to unite the country into one large State, 
or to recognize the divisions into which it had been broken 
up, was left to Mr. Hildebrand's discretion, but an inclina- 
tion in favour of the large State was indicated. 

It was decided to hold a conference of all the persons 
interested in this matter and to ascertain, so far as might 
be possible, the views and wishes of the people. A large 


(Mandat or) temporary hall was constructed by the Pa-ok- 
chok for the assemblage. On the date fixed, the 3rd of 
March, 1888, "about fifty headmen of circles, many 
superiors of monasteries, monks, sidesmen, almoners, and 
village elders were assembled, while outside gathered great 
numbers of the common people from all parts of the country. 
There were also present beside the claimants, represen- 
tatives of all the chief Southern States and of Hsipaw." 
In fact, it was an assemblage of all the estates of the realm 
in the Shan country the Lords Temporal, the Lords 
Spiritual, and the Commons. They had come together to 
assist in deciding by whom and how the Hsenwi territory 
should be governed. And they had come at the call of a 
Government which had taken a visible form in the Shan 
country only a year before, which only two years previously 
had displaced the King of Burma to whom the Shans had 
been subject for centuries, and which was still fighting in 
Burma proper against the adherents of the King. It was 
certainly an achievement not easily matched in the history 
of conquests or annexations, and showed the confidence in 
our power and our justice which a very short experience had 
been able to create. 

It was not a mere show ; the people had not assembled 
themselves to register a foregone decision. The Super- 
intendent was making an honest attempt to ascertain the 
wishes of all classes. The machinery was rude. But 
it was quite as likely to succeed in its object as the elaborate 
devices of advanced democracies which give free play to 
the arts of false-tongued demagogues and afford them every 
opportunity of bamboozling electors, most of whom are 
more ignorant of the issues than the Shans who assembled 
at Mongyai. 

The method adopted for taking the votes was to call upon 
each head of a circle to record his opinion, and then to take 
the opinion of the assembly. The first question put was 
whether Hsenwi should be reunited or whether it should 
remain divided, and if divided, into how many parts. The 
opinion against reunion into one State was manifested 
unmistakably. On the second point there was much 
discussion, but the result showed a balance, and a large 
balance, of opinion in favour of two States, North and South. 


The great majority, when the question of the rulers to 
be appointed was put, gave the North to San Ton Hon, 
and the South to Naw Mong. The Pa-ok-chok did not 
press his claim. "On the whole," the report says, 
"considerable intelligence and a shrewd appreciation of 
the novel idea of an open election were displayed, and 
a member of the outside crowd created some amusement 
by his vigorous championing of San Ton Hon. This 
unexpected interlude had a very good effect in putting most 
of the headmen at their ease and in persuading the entire 
assemblage that the election was a perfectly open matter, 
and that any one present might give his opinion and his 
reasons for holding it." The Shans were evidently a 
primitive people in election matters at least, and had to 
learn the art of breaking up meetings and silencing 

After electing the Sawbwas of Northern and Southern 
Hsenwi, the boundary to be fixed between the two 
divisions was discussed and settled with the acquiescence 
of San Ton Hon and Naw Mong, but against the views 
of some of the latter 's people, who thought that Southern 
Hsenwi was shorn of some territory which ought to 
belong to it. 

Further disagreement between the Naw Mong and his 
people followed when on the second day of the Durbar 
the amount of revenue to be paid by the two divisions 
respectively came to be considered. The Naw Mong offered 
spontaneously to pay the sum formerly paid to the King 
by the Alelet Division, without making any deduction on 
account of the circles which the boundary now adopted had 
given to the Northern territory. This easy attitude of their 
newly appointed chief caused acute discontent, which 
afterwards manifested itself. San Ton Hon was a man 
of different stamp. The Naw Mong had offered a revenue 
of Rs. 15,000. San Ton Hon made a stand against 
paying more than Rs. 500. He agreed, after much talking, 
to pay Rs. 2,000. The Northern Division of Hsenwi was 
no doubt much poorer at the time than the South. Still 
the amount was considerably less than the State ought to 
have paid. The Superintendent, however, thought it wiser 
to Accept it than to risk a rupture with San Ton Hon. 


The unequal treatment was impolitic as well as unfair 
and bred trouble in Southern Hsenwi. A month after 
the column left Mongyai a rising against Naw Mong was 
organized by the discontented party, and he had to make 
his escape by flight. Mr. Daly, who was at Hsipaw, 
rode out at once with a small party and summoned all 
the heads of circles to Mongyai. An inquiry was held, 
the leaders of the revolt were arrested and tried by the 
Sawbwa of South Hsenwi, and were sentenced to terms 
of imprisonment. New headmen were appointed in place 
of those condemned. Mr. Daly returned to Hsipaw, and 
the Naw Mong had no further trouble to contend with. 
The settlement of Hsenwi made at the Mongyai Durbar 
has stood the test of time and is a monument to the 
officers concerned in bringing it about. 

Leaving Mongyai on the 7th of March, the column 
marched to Lashio by easy stages. 

Nothing has been said hitherto as to the Northern Shan 
Column which accompanied Mr. Daly. Mr. Daly had 
preceded the force to Hsipaw and made arrangments for 
its progress. He had despatched letters to the Northern 
chiefs announcing his coming, and reassuring them as to 
the nature of the movement. 

The route laid down for the Northern Shan Column 
by the Chief Commissioner was from Hsipaw to the 
northern part of Hsenwi; thence westward to Namhsan, 
the chief town in Tawngpeng ; then back to Hsipaw and 
from Hsipaw on to Mongyai to meet the Southern Column. 
No independent powers were given to Mr. Daly, who was 
to place himself in all political matters under Mr. 
Hildebrand's orders. He was to act as the precursor of the 
Superintendent, summoning the chiefs and headmen and 
explaining to them the objects of Mr. Hildebrand's coming. 
He was also to collect information as to the state of affairs 
and the position of the various factions in Hsenwi. He 
was given authority, however, to insist on the cessation of 
fighting, and empowered, if the necessity should arise, to 
use force in maintaining peace. He was empowered also 
to take action in Tawngpeng for securing the submission 
of the Sawbwa, and to require him to pay tribute for the 
past year of such sum as he (Mr. Daly) might judge 



reasonable, explaining that this payment was exacted 
because the Sawbwa had harboured disaffected persons. 

The Northern Column left Hsipaw on the 29th of 
December, 1887, and crossed into Tawngpeng territory. 
All the villages were deserted, and on the 30th of December 
the advance- and rear-guards were simultaneously fired 
into. Two mules were killed and a driver wounded. A 
few volleys into the bush dispersed the attacking party. 
The town of Namhsam was reached on the 31st. All the 
inhabitants had disappeared. Mr. Daly remained eight 
days, in the hope of inducing the Sawbwa to come in, but 
without success. He was able, however, to restore confi- 
dence. The townspeople returned to their houses, and on 
the march of the column to Hsenwi the villagers on the 
road watched the troops without concern. The attack on 
the column was afterwards explained. There was an old 
standing feud between Tawngpeng and Hsipaw, dating 
from a treacherous massacre of Tawngpeng officials by the 
grandfather of Hkun Saing, the Sawbwa of Hsipaw. Mr. 
Daly had been several weeks in Hsipaw, and a number 
of Hsipaw bullock-drivers were with the column. This 
aroused the suspicions of the Tawngpeng officials, and 
orders were given to oppose any armed men from Hsipaw. 
However this may have been, the misunderstanding was 
only for a time. 

Mr. Daly then went on to the town of Hsenwi, or rather 
to the site of the town, for the town had been destroyed, 
to meet San Ton Hon, who after some hesitation came 
in to see him and arranged to attend the Conference at 
Mongyai. The Northern Column then marched east to 
the Kunlon Ferry on the Sal ween, to Mansi, where 
San Ton Hon joined Mr. Daly and accompanied him to 
Mongyai. Except that the submission of the Tawngpeng 
Sawbwa had not been obtained owing to his timidity or 
hostility, the task appointed to the Northern Column had 
been executed with complete success. 

But to go back. After the Durbar was over at Mongyai, 
the Southern Column, according to its wont, gave a display 
for the popular delight. On the first day there was a 
sham-fight, which was viewed with much interest by chiefs 
and followers ; and on the second, garrison sports, which it 


is related " proved a great attraction and tended in no 
small degree to bring the troops and the people together 
and to produce good feeling on both sides." 

All hope of meeting any of the great Trans- Sal ween 
chiefs was now past. Various causes had prevented them 
from coming in, amongst others a raid made across their 
track to Mongnai by the irrepressible Twet Nga Lu, and 
some mischievous lies spread by Saw On of Yawnghwe 
regarding the withdrawal of the British forces. Trans- 
Salween affairs had therefore to be laid aside for a more con- 
venient season. But much useful information was gathered 
and recorded by the Superintendent and Mr. Scott. 

From Lashio the column moved to Panglon, a village 
on the eastern borders of Tawngpeng territory, to which 
place the chief had been summoned to meet the Super- 
intendent and make his submission. He did not obey the 
summons, but sent excuses for his absence alleging age and 
infirmities, and saying that he wished his son to be accepted 
as Sawbwa in his room. Two days afterwards this son, 
entitled the Naw Mong, accompanied by most of the chief 
officials, came in, and with humble apologies for the attack 
made on the Northern Column, tendered his allegiance to 
the British Government. As it appeared that the old 
Sawbwa was nearly eighty years of age, it was decided to 
accept the Naw Mong, Hkun Kyan, as chief, and to draw 
out the sanad, or patent, in his name. This was done, and 
the amount of revenue to be paid by Tawngpeng was 
determined. It may be recorded here that Hkun Kyan 
administered the State for seven years until 1895, when 
he resigned on account of ill-health. A cousin succeeded 
him but proved incompetent, and in 1904 a Government 
officer was put in charge of Tawngpeng. At present, the 
Sawbwa is administering the State satisfactorily. 

Having settled this matter, the column marched into 
Hsipaw. It is worth noting that Hkun Saing, the chief 
of Hsipaw, had obtained greater favour from the British 
Government than any other of the Shan chiefs. The more 
prominent of them bitterly resented the concessions made 
to Hkun Saing, namely : the remission of his revenue for 
ten years and the conferment on him of the three States 
of Mongtung, Monglong, and Hsumhsai, to which he had 


no right. His services to the British Government con* 
sisted in this, that he came down to meet the Chief Com- 
missioner at Mandalay and was the first to make his 
submission to the Queen-Empress. It might have been 
expected, therefore, that he would have made some show 
of providing shelter and supplies for the troops. He did 
nothing. The extraordinary favours which he had received 
led him to think that he must be necessary to the Govern- 
ment, and he made no effort to prove his gratitude. The 
gift of Mongtung to Hkun Saing was resented by the 
inhabitants of that State, who claimed independence and 
wished to be ruled by their hereditary chief, who had been 
dismissed by the Sawbwa of Hsipaw. Similar were the 
feelings of the people of Monglong, whose hereditary ruler, 
Nga Maung, gave great trouble to our administration. Mr. 
Hildebrand worked hard to arrive at some settlement by 
which peace might be assured. He was unsuccessful, and 
Mongtung as well as Monglong was torn by dissension for 
some years. At length in 1893, owing to this and other 
administrative failures, a British officer was appointed to 
advise and guide the Sawbwa Hkun Saing, and by this 
means peace and order were restored. 

On the 9th of April, after a tour of four months and 
nineteen days, the Southern Shan Column, under Colonel 
Swetenham, accompanied by Mr. Hildebrand and Mr. Scott, 
marched into Mandalay. The expedition had done its 
work well. Every chief, big and little, in the Cis-Salween 
States had been met and his formal recognition of British 
supremacy obtained. Long-existing feuds had been set at 
rest, and claims the subject of prolonged fighting peaceably 
adjudicated. The revenue payable by each State had been 
ascertained, and with one or two exceptions definitely fixed. 
The Southern Column had marched upwards of seven 
hundred miles, and had passed through the territory of 
every important chief. The few minor States untraversed 
by it had been visited either by Captain Jackson, E.E., of 
the Government of India Survey, or by Lieutenant Stanton, 
D.S.O., of the Intelligence Department, accompanied in 
each case by small parties of troops ; and by their labours 
a map had been constructed on which the position of every 
important place in the Cis-Salween States was scienti- 


fically fixed. Moreover, a mass of information regarding 
the Shan country, its main features and products, and 
the character and politics of the people, was collected, 
invaluable to those engaged in administering this wide 

If the Shans generally on the west of the Salween have 
accepted British rule and learned to trust our good faith 
and moderation, the credit must be given to the work 
done by the two columns. Although that work was in 
the main of a civil character, and the military force was 
there as an escort and a protection in case of need, yet 
the soldiers deserve quite as great a share of the blessing 
promised to the peacemaker as the civilians. In building 
the Indian Empire, soldiers and civilians have always 
worked hand in hand. In Burma and the Shan States 
the old tradition was not belied. 

The civil officers with the columns recorded their grati- 
tude to Colonel Swetenham and his officers for their 
unwearying efforts to assist the Superintendent in his 
communications with the chiefs and the people. But 
more than that: "It remains to be noted," writes Mr. 
Scott, " that this desire to aid the Superintendent in his 
duties was no less conspicuous among the native officers, 
and the men, alike of the 2nd Queen's, the Battery, and 
the 27th Punjab Infantry. The native officers in particular 
took a most intelligent and evidently real interest in the 
objects of the expedition. They not only succeeded in 
suppressing all crime and ill-treatment of the people by 
the sepoys and followers, but they were foremost in showing 
the example of friendly and social intercourse with the 
people. Nearly every one in the regiment had picked up 
during their two years' stay in Burma a certain amount of 
Burmese ; to this was added a few words of Shan ; and 
these used freely on all occasions, whether apposite or not, 
never failed to break down the nervousness and awe with 
which the population was at first disposed to regard us. 
Whenever we halted for any time, friendships were struck 
up between the troops and the people, and that the goodwill 
and esteem thus created was not merely superficial or 
assumed was more than once proved in the most satis- 
factory manner. Followers were lost or strayed away from 


the camp. In every case these animals or men were taken 
care of, fed, and in some cases clothed and physicked and 
eventually sent on to join the column." A further proof 
of the friendliness of the people was the immunity of the 
mails from detention or pillage. Although sent without 
guards by native runners, they were invariably delivered 
after passing sometimes through many States and many 
hands. "If, therefore," concludes Mr. Scott, "as there 
can be no doubt is the case, the Cis-Salween States have 
definitely and thankfully accepted our suzerainty, no small 
share of the credit of our success is due to the exertions 
of the officers of the Shan Column." 

In dealing with semi-savage and ignorant races, the 
power of rumour and misrepresentation can hardly be 
overestimated. When the Shans saw that the Southern 
Column left no detachment behind it at Mongnai, and 
instead of returning from Hsenwi to Fort Stedman marched 
down to Mandalay, rumour began to be busy and the 
ignorant imagination of the people to seek reasons for this 
movement. Keady at hand to supply food for fancy was 
Saw On, the Yawnghwe Sawbwa. An intriguer and gossip 
by nature, he sat down to write letters to all the greater 
chiefs, informing them that the garrison at Fort Stedman 
had been reduced to forty men. This advanced person 
had already begun to take in some of the Rangoon papers 
and to read the telegrams, which he could not understand 
but from which he contrived to extract the notion that 
there was going to be a European war and that the British 
were withdrawing their troops from Burma, to which the 
notices in the papers of troops leaving in the course of 
the ordinary reliefs seemed to point. These letters reached 
men even more ignorant than himself. The impression 
gained ground that the British power was passing, and 
the disappointed claimants, the adventurers, and the men 
with a grievance saw an opportunity for action. 

It will be remembered that the chief of Eastern Karenni 
had not met Mr! Hildebrand at Mongnai. The country 
of the Karenni, or Red Karens, has an area of nearly five 
thousand square miles, much of which is hill and forest. 
On the east it is bounded by Siamese territory ; on the 
north by the Shan States ; on the south by Lower Burma ; 


and on the west by a hill tract which separates it from 
the level country of Burma proper. It is divided into 
Eastern Karenni and Western Karenni. We are concerned 
at present with the former, which consists of one single 
State, Gantarawadi. The ruler of this State was Sawla- 
paw. He resided at the chief place, Saw Lon, and he is 
aptly described by Mr. Scott as a stubborn man from his 
youth, who had grown old in the belief that his country 
was impregnable and his people in their hills invincible. 
He was confirmed in this unfounded belief by the ex- 
traordinary timidity and cowardice of the Shans, who 
habitually submitted to be raided and robbed, and to see 
their people carried away into slavery by this overbearing 
savage and his men. 

Now Sawlapaw had a long-standing grievance with the 
adjoining Shan State of Mawkmai. The cause, or the alleged 
cause, was the seizure by the Sawbwa of Mawkmai, twenty- 
two years before, of a number of elephants and timber in 
Karenni forests. He had endeavoured to get redress from 
the Burmese Government twice, but without success. The 
Burmese Government had disappeared, and now he had 
seen a British force come and go, he was told for good 
and all. He thought his opportunity had come, and 
advanced on Mawkmai. The Sawbwa of that State, by 
name Hkun Hmon, had a bad conscience. His father, Ne 
Nwe, the man whom Sawlapaw accused of robbing him 
of his elephants, had died some time back. According to 
Shan custom Hkun Hmon ought to have buried his father 
and divided the personality amongst certain relations who 
were entitled to it. Shan custom demanded that the burial 
should precede the payment of the legacies. Hkun Hmon 
disliking the idea of parting with the property, put off the 
burial indefinitely, making, it may be hoped, some sort of 
decent, if temporary, shelter for his father's body, by 
placing it, for example, in a coffin of teak with a generous 
covering of honey. 

Now the principal legatees were in Mongnai, and were 
connections of the Mongnai Sawbwa. Hence the " Smock- 
faced " Hkun Hmon, as Mr. Scott dubs him, when he heard 
of the Karenni force advancing upon him, knowing that 
Mongnai and the Karenni chief were allies, became con- 


science-stricken ; and, imagining that a combined attack 
would be made on him, fled without raising a finger to 
defend himself. The Karenni entered Mawkmai on the 
2nd of March without let or hindrance. They proceeded to 
burn the town and ravage the country. They destroyed 
everything. Even the monasteries and bridges were burnt. 
The Mawkmai Valley, which up to that time had escaped 
devastation and was the only part of the Shan States that 
had been spared, was completely ruined. Sawlapaw then 
appointed a man of his own to be Sawbwa of Mawkmai, 
and declared the State to be annexed to Karenni. Hitherto 
Eastern Karenni had been treated with much forbearance 
by the Chief Commissioner more, perhaps, because it was 
inconvenient to move against it just then than from a 
desire to spare Sawlapaw. 

Mr. Scott, after returning to Mandalay with the Southern 
Shan Column (see p. 180), had hurried back by the Natteik 
Pass to Fort Stedman. Late in April the Chief Commis- 
sioner sent him orders to clear the Karenni out of Mawkmai 
and restore the rightful Sawbwa, Hkun Hmon. He left 
Fort Stedman on the 2nd of May, with a party under 
Colonel Sartorius of the Beleuchi Regiment, to execute these 

The same influences which had led Sawlapaw to go 
on the warpath, at this moment had operated on the 
energetic mind of Twet Nga Lu. Since his expulsion from 
Kengtawng by the Mongnai troops (vide p. 168) he had 
remained on the east of the Salween, and had collected 
a number of his ruffianly followers who had been able 
to get arms and powder from Chiengmai. Crossing the 
river he took the town of Mongpan on the 4th of March, 
the day after the Karenni's seizure of Mawkmai. 

The news of these disturbances had reached Mr. Hilde- 
brand at Hsipaw. He had sent orders to the Mongnai 
Sawbwa to collect men to expel Twet Nga Lu and to 
reinstate Hkun Hmon in Mawkmai. Hkun Kyi raised what 
men he could and attacked Twet Nga Lu's position, but 
he was defeated, followed up by the bandit, and had to seek 
safety in flight. This happened on the evening of the 
3rd of May. 

On the 6th of May fugitives from Mongnai brought the 


news of this catastrophe to Mr. Scott, who was en route 
to Mawkmai with Colonel Sartorius. There was no 
hesitation. The direction of the march was at once changed 
to Mongnai. Mr. Scott saw at once the lucky chance 
offered to him of making an end of Twet Nga Lu. On the 
9th of May a halt was made at Kanglu, nine miles west 
of Mongnai. The morning of the 10th of May was very 
wet, which rendered a surprise of the enemy more possible. 
Mr. Scott had studied the ground when he was with the 
Southern Column, and felt able to guide a mounted party in 
the hope of capturing the noted filibuster. There was no 
Mounted Infantry with the column. All the officers' ponies 
were requisitioned. Six men of the Eifle Brigade and one 
man of the Beleuchi Regiment were thus mounted ; and 
under the command of Lieutenant Fowler of the Beleuchis, 
and led by Mr. Scott, the little party started on the adventure. 

Following bypaths over the hills, they escaped notice, 
and the heavy rain falling kept most of the peasants under 
shelter. The town was entered by the south. Mr. Scott, 
knowing the ground, led them straight to the Sawbwa's 
haw palace is too grand a name a teak and bamboo 
structure with a stockade round it. Evidently the brigand 
felt quite secure. Hardly any one was about, and Twet Nga 
Lu himself was in bed in the verandah. He was seized and 
secured before he quite knew what had happened. This could 
not be done, however, without some noise, which brought in 
an armed crowd of his chief retainers. Mr. Scott ordered 
them peremptorily to sit down, which is the Burmese v 
equivalent of "Hands up!" They hesitated. A straight 
blow between the eyes dropped the foremost. The rest 
sat down at once, and before they had time to count their 
opponents or take stock of the situation, the riflemen had 
collected their arms. An anxious and rather bad time 
followed until firing was heard, and the gallant little advance 
party knew that their supports had come into action. 
Colonel Sartorius entered the town from the north, and 
after a slight engagement, in which four of the ruffians were 
killed, the town was cleared of the armed rabble which had 
held it. 

Along with Twet Nga Lu were taken six notable captains, 
the chief of whom was Hkun Sang Mong Cheng, his most 


trusted bravo, for years a terror to the hillside for his 
cruelty. He and Twet Nga Lu were famous for their 
powers of tattooing and charming, and all of them were 
universally believed to be proof against bullet or steel. 
Mr. Scott decided to let the Mongnai Sawbwa try them, 
all except Twet Nga Lu, according to Shan custom. The 
Sawbwa sentenced them to death, and after the Superinten- 
dent had considered and confirmed the sentence, they were 
shot on a crowded market-day in Mongnai, by a firing- 
party of Beleuchi Rifles. The executions were carried out 
in the presence of British officers and with every regard to 
humanity and decency. No greater scoundrels have ever 
met with a more deserved punishment. ''All these male- 
factors," records the Superintendent, " were charmed against 
bullet and sword wound, and news of their death spread 
like wildfire throughout the States, and has done much 
to reform previously incorrigible murderers." 

Twet Nga Lu himself was sent into Fort Stedman, pre- 
sumably as being too noted a personage to be dealt with by 
a Sawbwa. The Shan States, on the annexation of Upper 
Burma, had been swept into the net and were constituted a 
part of British India before accurate information had been 
gained of their political conditions and their relations to the 
King's Government. On this account there were technical 
difficulties in the way of a trial by the Superintendent. 
The Chief Commissioner's orders to the Assistant Super- 
intendent were in these words : " As to the prisoners, 
including Twet Nga Lu, send such as are Siamese subjects 
or natives of doubtful States in custody to Fort Stedman ; 
make over natives of British Shan States to Mongnai 
Sawbwa for trial and punishment according to Shan custom 
but do not allow any cruel or barbarous punishments. 
Take care that Twet Nga Lu does not effect his escape. 
If the Mongnai Sawbwa sentences any prisoner to death 
for an offence other than murder, suspend execution until 
you get orders on this point." Mr. Hildebrand was in- 
structed therefore to send Twet Nga Lu back to Mongnai 
to be tried by the Sawbwa. On the way he attempted to 
escape, and was shot by the Beleuchi guard escorting him. 
The men returned to Fort Stedman and reported what had 
happened, saying that they had buried him on the spot. 


It was desired to verify this statement, as there might 
have been trouble if the brigand had escaped, or even if the 
Shans had not believed him to have been killed. Unfortu- 
nately Mr. Scott, who was] at Mongnai, was too unwell to 
go to the place, and did not visit it for some time. When 
he was able to go he found the marks of a very shallow hole, 
but no human remains of any kind except a long lock of 
hair, which might have been Twet Nga Lu's. The Shans, 
however, all believed that Twet Nga Lu was dead, and there 
was no reason to discredit the report of the Beleuchi sepoys. 

All doubt on this point was removed afterwards. The 
scene of the brigand's death was in the wooded hills which 
border Mongpawn. The day after he was shot a party 
of Shans from Mongpawn disinterred, or rather lifted, the 
corpse from its shallow grave, and shook off the loose earth. 
The head was cut off, shaved, and sent to Mongnai, and 
exhibited there at the north, south, east, and west gates 
of the town during the absence of the Assistant Superin- 
tendent at Fort Stedman. The various talismans were 
removed from the trunk and limbs. Such charms are 
generally small coins or pieces of metal, which are inserted 
under the skin. These would be doubly prized as having 
been enshrined in the flesh of so noted a leader, and 
no doubt were eagerly bought up. The body was then 
boiled down, and a concoction known to the Shans as Make 
Si was obtained, which is an unfailing charm against all 
kinds of wounds. So valuable a " medicine" did not long 
remain in the hands of the poor, and soon found its way 
into some princely medicine-chest. The value attached 
to the fat of the tiger, and the demand for it by men of 
greater culture than the Shans could or can boast, are 
known to all Indian sportsmen. Such was the end of 
Twet Nga Lu. It was certainly, so far as the body is 
concerned, most complete. 


IT has been told how Mr. Scott was on his way to 
Mawkmai, when Twet Nga Lu's enterprise caused 
him to turn his course to Mongnai. He now returned 
to the original object of his expedition, namely, the ex- 
pulsion of the Karennis from Mawkmai and the restoration 
of the Sawbwa Hkun Hmon, whom they had expelled. 
He reached Mawkmai with the force under Colonel Sartorius 
on the 16th of May, 1888, and found that the Karennis had 
not awaited his coming. Mawkmai was occupied, and 
Sawbwa Hkun Hmon reinstated. Colonel Sartorius re- 
turned to Fort Stedman with the main portion of his 
command, leaving, in accordance with the instructions 
given to him, a hundred and fifty rifles, under Lieutenant 
Fowler, at Mawkmai, which was considered to be the most 
fitting post for the civil officer and his escort. 

Mawkmai being only a long march of twenty-five miles 
from Mongnai, a detachment of twenty-five rifles was 
thought enough to support the Sawbwa, and in June, 
Hkun Hmon reported that the Karennis had quitted 
his country. All seemed to have settled down. The 
Superintendent did not hesitate, therefore, to call Mr. 
Scott to Fort Stedman for various business matters. 
Mr. Scott reached Fort Stedman on the 28th of June, and 
reported that all was well. Lieutenant Fowler was at 
that time in Mawkmai. On the 1st of July he moved his 
headquarters to Mongnai, leaving the detachment of 
twenty-five rifles to garrison Mawkmai. The Karennis, 
it may be presumed, were watching his movements, for 
on the 3rd of July, in the evening, a body of Karennis 
attempted to rush the town. They were repulsed, but 



kept up a fire on the defenders until long after dark. The 
twenty-five Beleuchis, seconded by the Sawbwa and his 
armed rabble, returned the fire and inflicted some loss 
on the enemy, who had withdrawn to a short distance. 
Considering it unsafe, after this experience, to leave Mawk- 
mai with so small a detachment, Lieutenant Fowler moved 
his headquarters back to that place. 

The monsoon was now in full force. With roads of the 
most primitive kind and swollen rivers, rapid travelling 
was difficult. Mr. Scott left Fort Stedman as soon as the 
news of what had happened reached him. Leaving his 
baggage to make what speed it could, he rode on and arrived 
at Mawkmai half-starved and dressed in some Shan 
garments which he had borrowed on the way to replace 
his dripping clothes, only to find that the fighting was 
over. Lieutenant Fowler, learning that the enemy 
had taken up a position within a day's march of Mawkmai, 
went straight for them, carried their entrenchments at 
the point of the bayonet, and drove them out with a loss 
to them of sixty men. This experience ought to have 
diminished the arrogance of Sawlapaw. He was very 
little moved by it. He wrote on the 13th of July in the 
most royal style, requesting the withdrawal of British 
troops from Mawkmai lest they should be " accidentally 
harmed " by his men when he attacked Hkun Hmon. 
This letter was returned to Sawlapaw's messengers by the 
Chief Commissioner's orders. A letter written in August, 
in which he explained his claims against Mawkmai, and 
asserted that he did not know the relations of that State 
to the British Government, was dealt with in the same way. 
Both these letters were written in a style that was incon- 
sistent with the position of the Karenni chief, and they 
meant defiance. 

In July, 1888, the matter was referred to the Government 
of India, and their sanction was received in August to 
demand from Sawlapaw compensation for the damage done 
to Mawkmai and securities for his future good behaviour, 
and to enforce these demands if they were not complied 

In September, as the Karenni chief showed no signs 
of yielding, or willingness to meet Mr. Hildebrand, the 


Chief Commissioner prepared and placed in the Superin- 
tendent's hands an ultimatum in the following terms : 
Sawlapaw was required firstly to come in to Fort Stedman, 
and there make in person his submission as a chief 
subordinate to the Queen-Empress. Secondly, to pay 
an indemnity of two lakhs of rupees to cover the damage 
done to Mawkmai and the cost of the expedition sent 
to relieve that State; thirdly, to surrender five hundred 
serviceable muskets ; lastly, to covenant to pay annually 
a tribute of five thousand rupees to the British Government. 
This ultimatum was placed in the Superintendent's (Mr. 
Hildebrand's) hands, but he was instructed to withhold 
it until November, and meanwhile to endeavour by all 
possible means to persuade Sawlapaw to come to terms. 
In October it seemed as if the Karenni chief was 
beginning to have some misgivings. He adopted a tone 
of humility and apology, which led Mr. Hildebrand to 
hope for a peaceful ending. To make it easier for him, a 
reduction of the indemnity and of the number of the guns 
to be surrendered was allowed to Sawlapaw if he made his 
personal submission without delay. Later on, at Mr. Hilde- 
brand's request, the Chief Commissioner allowed Mawkmai 
to be substituted for Fort Stedman as the place to which 
the chief should come, so that he should have a very short 
distance to travel beyond his own borders. On November 
16th, as the obstinate chief showed no signs of yielding, 
the ultimatum was despatched. On the 17th a letter was 
received by the Superintendent bearing the date of Novem- 
ber 5th. This letter, which had been written in a much 
more friendly tone, had been delayed en route. In it 
Sawlapaw proposed that Mr. Hildebrand should meet 
him at Loikaw on December 14th, accompanied " by a 
small escort," so that the people " should not be alarmed." 
" The reason," he added, " why I propose Loikaw is that 
at present I am like a mother with her child in her arms ; 
she has to be with it always in order to prevent it cry- 
ing ; my people will feel my absence if I go to Fort 
Stedman." Mr. Hildebrand was permitted to accede to 
this request, provided Sawlapaw brought with him the 
two lakhs of rupees and the five hundred muskets required 
by the ultimatum. As an alternative the chief was told 


that if before the 14th of December he sent in the money 
and arms to Fort Stedman, to prove his good faith, 
the date for his personal submission at Loikaw would be 
postponed to the 1st of January, 1889. These concessions, 
which were made in the hope of avoiding a conflict, led 
to nothing except, perhaps, the hardening of Sawlapaw's 
heart. To leave the shelter of his own territory, and pre- 
sent himself before a foreign potentate whom he is conscious 
of having offended, was a hard thing to ask of a half-civilized 
ruler. But there was no evidence that Sawlapaw had any 
honest intention of submitting. He was said on all sides 
to be preparing to resist us. It is just possible that if 
the Superintendent had been allowed further latitude he 
might have persuaded the Karenni to make some sort of 
apology. To the Chief Commissioner it appeared absolutely 
necessary, as an example, to insist on open and unmistak- 
able personal submission. 

During all these negotiations, preparations for the expe- 
dition had been going on. It was expected that the main 
strength of Sawlapaw's resistance would be on his northern 
boundary. He would in all likelihood raid the districts of 
Lower Burma on his south; or, if he were hard pressed, 
he might try to escape in that direction, or he might cross 
into his own territory on the east of the Sal ween. It was 
settled, therefore, that there should be two columns. The 
main force, which was to make the real attack and to 
occupy Sawlon, the capital of Eastern Karenni, was to 
concentrate at Saga, thirty-six miles south of Fort Stedman, 
on the 27th of December. The other was to travel up by 
the Salween vid Papun, and march on Bawlake in Western 
Karenni. Its duty was to cover the districts of Lower 
Burma, and at the same time to distract the attention of 
the enemy and also prevent his retreat southward. The 
command of this force was given to Colonel Harvey. To 
meet any attempt on Sawlapaw's part to escape eastward, 
a suggestion made by the British representative at Bangkok 
that the Siamese might be asked to co-operate had been 
accepted in August, and no further measure in this direction 
was thought necessary. 

With Colonel Harvey were one hundred rifles of the 
Cheshire Regiment and one hundred and fifty rifles of 


the 8th Madras Infantry. Fifty rifles of the latter regi- 
ment had been advanced to Papun early in November, 
and the frontier posts of that district, which were held 
by Gurkha and Karen (Lower Burma) police, were rein- 
forced. At the same time, in order to bring pressure to 
bear upon Sawlapaw and the Karennis, who depend to a 
large extent on imported food, a blockade was established 
and all exports from British territories stopped. 

On the 7th of December Mr. Hildebrand reported that 
the Mawkmai Sawbwa had received letters from Sawlapaw 
announcing his intention to fight. On the 10th of Decem- 
ber he telegraphed from Mobye that there was no hope 
of a peaceful solution. Lest an advance from the south 
should endanger a settlement, Colonel Harvey had been 
held back by the Chief Commissioner's orders. On the 
receipt of Mr. Hildebrand's telegram from Mobye, he was 
ordered to cover the frontier of the Salween district, arranging 
to reach Bawlake on the date on which the Northern Column 
hoped to occupy Sawlon. Colonel Harvey arrived at Papun 
on the 19th of December. Two days previously Kyaukhnyat, 
a village on the Salween Eiver north-east of Papun, was 
attacked by a considerable number of Karennis. The 
village was burnt and the bazaar plundered under the 
eyes of the police, who were content to defend their own 
post. The delay, intended to avoid bloodshed, resulted, 
as often happens, in encouraging the enemy to strike the 
first blow. Another post was also attacked about the same 
time. As a precaution Colonel Harvey was strengthened 
by the addition of fifty British and one hundred Madras 
Kifles, and moved from Papun to Bawlake on the 26th of 
December. Pazaung, a stockade held by Karennis, was 
taken without difficulty, and as that place offered a favour- 
able position for covering the frontier of Lower Burma, 
Colonel Harvey remained there until he heard of the 
occupation of Sawlon. The bulk of his column then 
returned to their quarters, leaving some Madras Kifles to 
strengthen the police outposts for a time. 

The Northern Column was commanded by Brigadier- 
General H. Collett, C.B. It was composed of the following 
troops : 

2 guns, No. 1 Mountain Battery, Bengal. 


100 rifles, 1st Battalion Rifle Brigade. 

250 rifles, 1st Beluchi Light Infantry. 

4 signallers and 40 Mounted Infantry, Rifle Brigade. 

70 Mounted Infantry, 1st Beluchi Light Infantry. 

25 Queen's Own, sappers and miners, with medical and 
commissariat staff. 

On the 19th of December final orders were communicated 
to Mr. Hildebrand by wire. They prescribed the course 
to be followed in each of the possible cases that might 
arise, while at the same time allowing him a wide dis- 
cretion in arranging the details. The main points on which 
the Chief Commissioner insisted were that the East Karenni 
chief should make his submission in an unmistakable 
fashion, and give substantial guarantees for his future 
good conduct. Accordingly, whether Sawlapaw met Mr. 
Hildebrand at Loikaw or not, the Superintendent, with 
the column, was to proceed to Sawlon, and there arrange 
the conditions on which he was to retain his position as 
a feudatory chief, of which open personal submission was 
the most essential. 

The instructions then proceeded as follows: "If your 
march is opposed by armed force, the nature of the 
measures to be taken will be a military question, to 
be decided by the officer commanding; except on purely 
military grounds of urgent necessity, the Chief Commis- 
sioner does not wish villages to be burnt ; in no case 
must villages be sacked. Your object should be to show 
the people that our quarrel is not with them, but with 
Sawlapaw. Loikaw should not be destroyed, unless the 
officer commanding thinks it necessary on military grounds. 
You should remain at Sawlon till the future administration 
is settled. If you are forced to turn out Sawlapaw, it will 
be necessary for you to stay there till you receive the Chief 
Commissioner's orders on your recommendations ; this may 
involve delay, but it cannot be avoided. It is desirable to 
humble Sawlapaw, and ensure his peaceful behaviour in 
future ; but very undesirable to cause him to fly and leave 
the country in confusion. The object is to keep him in 
a friendly, subordinate alliance. You have liberty, if he 
submits, to mitigate the terms to such extent as you may 
think necessary to secure his future friendship, and to let 



him see that we have no desire to harm him. If he does 
not submit, it will be necessary to punish him." 

The terms and tenor of these orders will suffice to show 
that although the Chief Commissioner had little expectation 
of the peaceful settlement still hoped for by Mr. Hildebrand, 
he was anxious to avoid a conflict. It appeared to him 
that further delays and concessions could only result in 
encouraging Karenni arrogance, and would be misunder- 
stood by others. There were military reasons, moreover, 
for finishing the business quickly and letting the troops 
return from the field. 

General Collett, having assembled his force at Saga, left 
that place on the 29th for Sawlon, Sawlapaw's capital. His 
route lay by Loikaw. As far as Nga Kaing, a village one 
march from that place, a good road had been cleared and 
bridged by the Sawbwa of Yawnghwe, the Myoza of Saga, 
and in that portion of it which passed through Sawlapaw's 
territory by Karennis acting under the instructions of the 
Mobye Sawbwa. On the part of the peasantry there was 
no enmity towards us. 

The road for some way before reaching Nga Kaing passed 
through scrub jungle, which gave an enemy every chance 
of annoying the troops. Nothing, however, occurred, and 
on the 1st of January, 1889, the force debouched into the 
wide open paddy plain of Karenni without being molested. 
While the camp was being pitched, the Beleuchi Scouts, 
who were exploring some wooded ground near the village, 
were fired upon. They were immediately joined by the 
Beleuchi Mounted Infantry, under Lieutenant Tighe. The 
enemy, driven through the wood and compelled to break 
cover, attempted to make for the high ground; but, our 
men getting between them and the hills, forced them into 
the plain. They numbered two or three hundred, most 
of them Shans under two of Sawlapaw's officials, and 
were not without courage. Several times they turned 
and stood to face their pursuers ; but, ill-armed and with- 
out discipline, they had not a chance. The threescore 
of Mounted Infantry broke them up, rode them down, and 
drove them almost up to Loikaw, eight miles distant, in- 
flicting heavy loss. Some of them, seeing escape to be 
hopeless, turned fiercely on their enemies, and the Beleuchis 
lost four killed and seven wounded in the pursuit. 


There was little chance for a combatant soldier to gain 
distinction against such a foe. Captain Crimmin, of the 
Indian Medical Service (Surgeon-Lieutenant-Colonel John 
Crimmin, V.C., C.I.E.), was awarded a Victoria Cross for 
gallantry in this action. 

General Collett pressed on at once with a portion of his 
force, in order to complete the rout. He reached Loikaw 
after dark, and found it deserted. 

Loikaw consisted of two parts, inhabited by two separate 
communities, the one of Shans, the other of Karens. The 
latter was quite deserted. But the Shans sent out a 
mission with green leaves, the equivalent of a flag of 
truce, to welcome our people, and did what they could 
to make the bivouac on the ground north of the village 
comfortable for them. Thus the night of New Year's Day 
saw General Collett with Mr. Hildebrand and a part of the 
force occupying Loikaw, while the remainder of the troops 
and the baggage were in the rear at Nga Kaing. On the 
next day, the 2nd of January, General Collett halted, to 
allow the rest of the column and the baggage to come up. 
The difficulty of moving even five hundred men in this 
country, destitute as it was of supplies for British and 
Indian soldiers, and equally destitute of roads, was great. 
The transport bullocks numbered thirteen hundred; there 
were ponies and elephants and camp followers innumerable. 
The 3rd of January was taken up in getting the column 
ferried across a stream named the Balu, which runs below 
Loikaw, and is eighty yards wide and unfordable. 

While the soldiers were thus occupied the Superintendent 
used the delay to distribute a proclamation issued by the 
Chief Commissioner, explaining why the force had entered 
the Karenni country, and promising that the peaceful 
inhabitants should suffer no harm. The result of this was 
that some of the elders came in to ask for flags or other 
tokens which they might use to show that their villages 
were not hostile. The peasants generally had left their 
homes, they said, and fled to the hills, and would not return 
unless they had some assurance of safety. Mr. Hildebrand, 
therefore, having found in the baggage some red cloth, made 
flags and gave them to the elders for distribution. Before 
the evening of the 3rd people were returning in numbers to 


their homes, and applications for red flags came in from all 
sides. When the force continued its march flags were 
found placed on the paths leading up to villages from the 
main track. 

Sawlon was found to be four marches from Loikaw. On 
the 4th General Collett began to move, and encamped at 
Kawpiti, where trees had been felled and thrown across the 
road, and the advance-guard of Mounted Infantry was fired 
on. Our men replied, and the enemy, having suffered some 
loss, retreated. Some villagers came up with a red flag to 
warn our men that the jungle on either side of the road 
had been spiked, as Sawlapaw had taken measures to 
oppose us. The warning was useful, and only one pony 
was injured. 

On the 5th the ferry on the Pon Chaung Kiver, at a place 
called Tilanga, was reached. There had been no opposition 
hitherto, but directly the scouts appeared on the river bank 
fire was opened on them from the other side, a distance of 
one hundred and fifty yards. There was a village on the far 
bank from which the shots came. Our men returned the 
fire, but, as it seemed, with no effect. The guns were 
brought up, and two shells were dropped into the village, 
and set it on fire. All resistance then ended ; but the river 
had to be crossed. Empty rum casks had been brought 
with the force, and the sappers began to make rafts. The 
river, however, was deep and rapid, and the attempt to 
cross the force on rafts had to be given up. The enemy 
had removed and concealed their boats. A close search was 
made for them, and six or seven were discovered. A ford 
at some little distance was found practicable for elephants, 
and amongst the Shans who followed the force sufficient 
skilled boatmen were found to man the boats. On the 
next day, the 6th of January, General Collett began to cross 
his men, and by the evening the whole force was on the 
other side of the Pon Chaung. The elephants and boatmen 
were exhausted, and could do no more that day, while all 
the commissariat bullocks and their loads still remained to 
be brought across the stream. 

On the 7th, leaving a guard for the bullocks and baggage 
which had not crossed, the main force pushed on. The 
road now became very difficult. It narrowed down to a 


steep path, on the east side of which rose abruptly a range 
of rocky hills, on the west side ran the Pon Chaung, with 
its tangled jungle, affording the best of cover to an enemy. 
The ascent was sometimes severe. Small parties of the 
enemy were concealed on the slopes of the hills at short 
distances, and occasional shots were fired from the opposite 
bank of the river. An enemy with more knowledge or 
better arms might have made the advance very difficult. 
As it was, the hillsides on our left had to be searched and 
cleared before the main body could pass. It was dusk 
before Sakangyi, about six miles from the last bivouac, 
was reached. The casualties were one man in the Rifle 
Brigade killed and one wounded ; two Beleuchis severely 
wounded ; and Surgeon Manders shot through the thigh. 

During the night the baggage came slowly in. The last 
bullock was not in camp until several hours after sunrise. 
The enemy made no attempt to annoy the baggage or the 
rear-guard. Leaving on the 8th, as soon as the men had 
breakfasted and the rear-guard was in camp, the force 
worked its way on in the same manner as on the day 
before. Firing went on incessantly, but the flanking 
parties of Beleuchis did their work perfectly. The woods 
within range were thoroughly beaten and cleared of the 
enemy, and the force passed through the defile (capturing 
two guns, both mounted on carriages, on the hilltop) 
and entered the more open country without a casualty. 

Sawlon was now in view. The Beleuchis, under Colonel 
Sartorius (Colonel George Conrad, C.B.), were sent forward 
at once to occupy the town, which stands on a plateau some 
three hundred feet above the river. It was found to be 
quite deserted. The rest of the column encamped on the 
bank of the river below. 

It may be well here to give some account of Sawl6n, the 
capital of the Red Karen country, as it was in January, 
1889. It stands on some high ground about a mile to the 
east of the Pon Chaung. The hills at this point rise by 
three steps, the first and second of which open out into 
two small plateaux. The town is on the first step. To 
those looking at it as the force left the defile, it appeared 
to consist of a few huts. On ascending the hill, however, 
it was found to be well laid out, and to contain some really 


fine houses. Three broad streets ran through the town 
parallel to each other, and were crossed at right angles 
by connecting roads of lesser width. There was an 
excellent water-supply. A stream from the plateau above 
the town had been led down the face of an almost 
perpendicular rock, and formed a very picturesque water- 
fall. On reaching the level it flowed through the town 
from east to west. The channel which carried the main 
supply was substantially bridged in each of the main 
streets. On both sides of every street in the town were 
smaller channels, fed from the parent stream. The water- 
courses were all carefully lined with teak to prevent erosion. 
Posts with glass lamps stood before the houses of the better 
class. Here and there in the main street a perambulator 
was seen standing, where it had been left when the people 
fled. A box in Sawlapaw's storehouse was found full of 
babies' bottles, together with a very large stock of arrow- 
root. Evidently the younger generation of the Karennis 
inclined towards the luxuries of the West. 

The chief, however, was said to stand on the ancient 
ways, rarely quitting his house, except to climb to his 
paddy-fields above the town, which he worked with his 
own hands like an ordinary peasant. His Jiaw, or palace, 
however, gave some signs of his rank a large old rambling 
house of teak, inside a teak palisade, with a smaller house 
for his wife in the same enclosure ; a stable close by, with 
loose-boxes for four ponies, well built of teak, with iron- 
barred windows, and raised about three feet above the 
ground. Teak timber, which formed the wealth of the 
State, was lying about everywhere. The road leading up 
from the river to the town was littered with fine logs. It 
seemed that there would be little difficulty in recovering the 
indemnity demanded from Sawlapaw. Near the palace was 
an immense timber-yard with four sheds ; in each shed were 
four saws. The yard was full of timber sawn and in the 
rough. The converted timber was methodically stacked in 
wooden frames round the yard, each frame containing the 
same cubic measurement of timber, so that there was no 
need to count the pieces. The palace was by no means 
the finest house in the town; that of Sawlawi, the Kya 
Maing, or heir-apparent, was especially good. A monastery 


and a rest-house, of great solidity and excellent workman- 
ship, with very good carving, stood a little way off. 

With the occupation of Sawlon the active military 
operations ended. The work of Mr. Hildebrand was only 
now beginning, and it was difficult and perplexing. 
Sawlapaw had disappeared, and if the people knew his 
whereabouts, none would tell. Little was known of the 
inner politics of the Karenni State. If the old chief chose 
to hide himself and let the case go against him by default, 
who was to be appointed in his room? It will be remem- 
bered that in the instructions given to Mr. Hildebrand, 
the possibility of having to supersede Sawlapaw was 
contemplated, and Mr. Hildebrand was definitely told 
that he was to remain in Sawlon until the future 
administration had been settled and the Chief Com- 
missioner's orders received. In a private letter the Chief 
Commissioner wrote : "In the alternative of Sawlapaw 
running away and leaving the country without a governor, 
you must find some one to take his place. I do not want 
Karenni left on my own hands. You have had so much 
practice in king-making that I need say no more." 

Mr. Hildebrand' s difficulties were much increased by 
the announcement of the General in command, that the 
column must leave Sawlon on the 23rd of January, to 
return to Fort Stedman, as the rations were insufficient 
for a longer stay. The task before him was no easy 
one in any case. That he should be able to effect a 
settlement of Karenni affairs in a fortnight was too 
much to hope. There was a risk that the object of 
the expedition might be frustrated, and that the work 
would have to be done over again. General Collett con- 
sented to send for a supply of rations to meet the column 
at Mobye, to enable him to remain at Sawlon until the 
30th of January. It is not known on whom the responsi- 
bility rested for arrangements which might easily have 
made the expedition fruitless. 

There was no possibility of laying the matter before 
the Chief Commissioner and obtaining his orders. Mr. 
Hildebrand, therefore, took the risk on himself and set 
to work at once to find Sawlapaw if possible; failing 
that, to select some one in his room. As a first step a 


proclamation was issued calling upon Sawlapaw to appear 
before the 18th of January, and stating that if he did not 
come in a successor would be appointed to take charge 
of his State pending the Chief Commissioner's orders. At 
the same time the people generally were invited to come 
to Sawlon to confer with Mr. Hildebrand and advise 
him on the choice of the man to be appointed, in case 
Sawlapaw did not appear. 

Meanwhile it was as well to acquire some knowledge 
of the feelings of the people. The Superintendent's camp 
was moved up to the (Pongyi Kyaung) monastery, and 
by constant intercourse with monks and people their 
confidence was won, and an idea of the causes that had 
led to Sawlapaw's flight was formed. The disaster suffered 
by his men at Nga Kaing village on the 1st of January 
had convinced Sawlapaw that further opposition to our 
advance was hopeless. But there was a war party in the 
State of which one Naw Maing of Loikaw was the head, 
The measures taken to resist the force were the work 
of this party. On the 5th of January the smoke of the 
Tilanga village on the Pon Chaung was seen at Sawlon. 
The chief then made up his mind. He told those who 
wished to remain to do as they pleased. For himself he 
would leave Sawlon and would never come back. He 
took his wife and a few followers, and, forbidding any one 
else to come after him, he went to the upper plateau above 
the town, where he had another house, and was not 
seen again in Sawlon. No one would tell whither he 

Thereupon the Shan villagers (there was a Shan 
community in Sawlon) went to the Pongyi and moved 
him to head a deputation to the officers with the British 
force. On the morning of the 6th, with two red flags 
and the customary green boughs, the party set out to 
meet the British who were expected to arrive at Sawlon 
that day. When they did not arrive, thinking the delay 
was on occount of Sunday, the deputation returned to 
the town. On the evening of the 6th General Collett's 
force was encamped beside the Pon Chaung. A few 
Beleuchi Mounted Infantry Scouts were sent on to 
reconnoitre the road. At the entry of the defile they 


were fired on by some Karennis, and one of the ponies 
was killed. They retreated without stopping to recover 
the saddle. The Karennis, taking the saddle from the 
dead pony, went back to Sawlon in triumph, displaying 
their spoil and declaring that the enemy were few in 
number and had retreated. This put new spirit into 
the war party, and the peace deputation dissolved. On the 
7th, when it was reported that the British were advancing 
in force, every one left the town, and it was found deserted, 
as has been already told. In two or three days, however, 
most of the people, Shans and Karens, had returned to 
their homes. 

There appeared to be little chance of inducing Sawlapaw 
to make his appearance. The day fixed for Sawlapaw's 
surrender was the 18th of January. On the 17th a 
deputation representing the chief men of three of the 
largest communities came to Mr. Hildebrand and begged 
for further days of grace and a written safe-conduct for 
Sawlapaw. Both requests were granted. Furthermore, 
a promise was given that if he would come in and fulfil 
the conditions of the ultimatum, he would be confirmed 
in his position as head of the Karenni State. The date 
for the appearance of Sawlapaw, or, failing this, the 
election of his successor, was postponed until the 25th. 

Mr. Hildebrand was assured that the Kya Maing, or 
heir-apparent, who was a nephew of Sawlapaw, would 
appear as a candidate for election. The 25th, the 26th, 
and the 27th passed, but no Kya Maing. The long- 
suffering patience of the Superintendent was exhausted. 
Fate, in the form of commissariat supplies, demanded a 
settlement before the 30th. Just as arrangements were 
being made for an election, a note was brought in from 
the Kya Maing to the effect that he was on his way to 
Sawlon from his hiding-place in the jungle, but had broken 
down, footsore and weary. He promised to appear on the 
next day. As the people earnestly besought that his 
prayer might be granted, and as it was evident to the 
Superintendent that this man, as heir to Sawlapaw and 
acceptable to the people, was the right man to take charge 
of the State, and as moreover one of the wealthiest men 
in the State gave security to the amount of Rs. 20,000 


that he would produce the Kya Maing, the proceedings 
were postponed until the morrow. 

The remaining time had now dwindled to twenty-four 
hours, and the 28th of January was a day of anxiety for 
Mr. Hildebrand. It was a relief when the arrival of the 
Kya Maing was put beyond doubt. He made his 
appearance at an early hour, a man (by name Sawlawi) 
of about thirty-eight years of age, intelligent-looking, and 
evidently popular in Karenni. The election was held at 
noon. There were twenty-nine electors, of whom six 
were Heins, or chiefs of divisions, four were the chiefs 
or representatives of the Western Karenni States 
subject to Sawlapaw, the rest were headmen of villages 
or groups of villages, and traders in timber and other goods, 
many of whom were men of wealth and influence. Each 
man gave his vote, with the result that Sawlawi was 
unanimously elected. 

Fourteen of the wealthy electors entered into a joint bond 
to pay the compensation of two lakhs and the five hundred 
muskets specified in the ultimatum, and a further sum 
of one lakh as war indemnity; the money to be paid 
before the end of December into the Moulmein Treasury, 
and the muskets to be lodged in Fort Stedrnan before the 
end of the following March. The order of appointment 
c-cj given by Mr. Hildebrand to Sawlawi was as follows : 
; x " I, the Superintendent of the Shan States, hereby 

appoint you, Sawlawi, Kya Maing, to be Chief of the 
State of Eastern Karenni, on the following conditions : 

"1. That you shall govern your State in accordance with 
established custom, and as a tributary to the British 
Queen whom you acknowledge to be your Suzerain. 

" 2. That you shall enter into no negotiations, treaties, 
or agreements with any other State than that of England. 

"3. That you shall pay as tribute the sum of Es. 5,000 

" 4. That you will in all matters obey the orders of the 
Superintendent of the Shan States. 

"5. That in case of dispute with Siam about territory 
east of the Salween, you will refer the matter to the 
Superintendent of the Shan States for arbitration. 

" 6. That no Shan, or Burman, or British subjects of 

(Red Karens.) 


any race shall be detained in any part of Eastern Karenni 
against their will, but that they shall have free liberty to 
go where they please. 

11 Given under my hand and seal this 29th day of 
January, 1889. 


" Superintendent of Shan States." 

The sixth clause was inserted to provide for the 
abolition of slavery. It will be noted that the terms of 
the order did not make the State of Eastern Karenni part 
of British India. Experience of the difficulties arising 
from the position of the Shan States as part of British 
India, and of the absence of such difficulties in the case 
of the feudatory States of the Central Provinces, 
induced the Chief Commissioner to leave the Eastern 
Karenni State in the position of a feudatory chief ship. 

The fifth clause needs explanation. It has been told 
above (p. 191) that a suggestion made by the British Repre- 
sentative at Bangkok for inviting Siamese co-operation 
had been acted upon. At the time no hint had been given 
by the Siamese, so far as was known to the Administration 
of Burma, that they had ulterior views, or claims to ad- 
vance. It was supposed, naively perhaps, that as a friendly 
nation, anxious on many grounds to ensure the protection 
of Great Britain, they had agreed to act partly to help the 
British Government, partly to protect their own border. It 
was not until the 10th of November, 1888, that Mr. Gould, 
H.M.'s Representative at Bangkok, intimated that in return 
for their co-operation the Siamese would probably wish to 
establish their territorial rights over the Karenni posses- 
sions lying east of the Salween. That was the first notice 
of the Siamese intentions which reached the Chief Com- 
missioner, and he had dispatched his ultimatum to Sawla- 
paw before its receipt. Mr. Gould was informed that the 
ultimatum could not be altered to include the Siamese 
claims. At the same time Mr. Hildebrand was instructed 
to reserve those claims in his settlement with Sawlapaw. 
Hence the insertion of the fifth clause in the order of 
appointment given to Sawlawi. 

As a matter of fact, the Siamese co-operation was purely 


nominal and valueless, too late to be of any use. On the 
llth of December Bangkok was informed that the columns 
from the Shan States and Papun would reach Sawlon about 
the 7th of January. On the 28th of December the Vice- 
Consul at Chiengmai was told of the attack by the Karennis 
on the police post at Kyaukhnyat, and was asked to move 
the Siamese to act. On the 10th of January the result of 
the fight near Loikaw was telegraphed to Bangkok and 
Chiengmai. On the 17th they were informed of the 
occupation of Sawlon. While Mr. Hildebrand was arrang- 
ing matters after the occupation, a detachment of troops 
went to reconnoitre Ywathit, a village on the right bank of 
the Salween, about thirty miles south of Sawlon. From 
Ywathit a party went out to see the Salween, some three 
miles away. This was on the 20th of January. On the 
evening of that day the advance-guard of the Siamese force 
appeared on the east bank of the Salween, at the mouth of 
the Mepai Chaung, and the officer commanding this party 
was visited by the Assistant Commissioner, Mr. Barnard, 
on the 21st of January. It was known from the Vice- 
Consul at Chiengmai that the Siamese had taken no action 
until the middle of January. This, however, is a digression. 
On the day following the election, a Durbar was held in a 
large hall in the rest-house in the grounds of the monastery, 
near which the Superintendent had pitched his camp. The 
place was well fitted for the occasion and was more ornate 
than one would have expected to find in the wilds of 
Karenni. A spacious chamber " built of the best sawn teak 
with Venetians and folding doors of good workmanship, and 
a floor which might have been made for a ball-room, the 
whole," writes the Superintendent, " both inside and out 
being very highly finished with panelling and carving 
and gilding." Here the notables, who had met for the 
election of the new chief, and all the townspeople assem- 
bled, and the Superintendent (as the ^Representative of the 
British Government), supported by the General command- 
ing and all the officers of the force, opened the Durbar. A 
broad, sturdy figure of a man, with a face that bore the 
marks of work and climate, a determined man, patient and 
considerate, but nevertheless a man accustomed to be 
obeyed. There were no bright uniforms, no show of gold 


or scarlet. Civil and military were all in the working-dress 
of the field, soiled and stained with dust and sweat ; for 
the last few marches through the wooded defile of the Pon 
Chaung had been very toilsome. Amongst the Shans and 
Karens assembled, some spots of gay colour might be seen, 
and smart white jackets here and there. 

In a few words the causes which had led to the expedi- 
tion were explained and the consequences, namely, the 
subordination of the Karenni chief to the British Govern- 
ment, and the payment by him of an indemnity. This 
might be unpleasant to some of them. On the other hand, 
to the Karenni people at large, it meant a better govern- 
ment, the cessation of raids and petty wars, the extension 
and protection of trade, and undisturbed peace. The order 
of appointment (provisional, as subject to the Chief Com- 
missioner's approval), was then read and given to Sawlawi. 
Thus the Karenni territory, which had been hitherto inde- 
pendent and had been protected by us from the designs of 
Burma, became practically part of the Empire. It may be 
noted that Mr. Hildebrand acted as the Representative of 
the British Government on both occasions. On the first, 
when he secured the independence of Karenni by negotia- 
tion with the Burmese King ; on the second, when he 
made Karenni subordinate to the Government of India. 

What was the first use made of his new power by Saw- 
lawi ? His first thought was to rid his territory east of the 
Salween of the Siamese troops now occupying it. The 
Superintendent gave him letters to the Siamese commander, 
announcing the fall of Sawlapaw and the appointment of 
Kya Maing Sawlawi in his place ; informing him that 
matters had been arranged with the Karennis, that the 
British force was withdrawing on the 30th of January, and 
that Siamese co-operation was no longer necessary. At the 
same time the Vice-Consul at Chiengmai was asked to use 
his influence to procure the immediate recall of the Siamese 

On the 30th of January the British troops left Karenni 
and marched back to Fort Stedman. Sawlawi was left to 
his own resources. Prophets of evil had foretold the imme- 
diate reappearance of Sawlapaw and the vengeance to be 
executed on his successor and his supporters. Excited 


journalists published tales in Rangoon of wholesale execu- 
tions in Sawlon under the old chief's orders. As a matter 
of fact, the ex-Sawbwa never attempted to disturb the 
Settlement, and the new Sawbwa, Sawlawi, carried out his 
engagements punctually. The indemnity was paid and the 
fire-arms surrendered. To the day of his death, in 1907, he 
governed his people in an upright and capable manner. 

It must be confessed there was some risk in leaving the 
country the day after Sawlawi's instalment. The Chief 
Commissioner's instructions were clear that the Super- 
intendent should remain in Sawlon until he received orders 
on his proposals. Mr. Hildebrand, however, had no choice, 
and the risk had to be taken, because of the defective 
arrangements for feeding the troops, which made it im- 
possible to stay. In taking the responsibility he did his 
duty well. The only difficulty in Eastern Karenni arose 
from the action of the Siamese Government in continuing 
to occupy the territory east of the Salween, which had been 
long held by the Karens, was vital to them, and had never 
been in the possession of the Siamese. 

This was a matter which threatened at any moment to 
disturb the peace and gave anxiety to those responsible for 
maintaining it. The first act of Sawlawi, as has been said, 
after his appointment was to ask the assistance of the 
Superintendent to procure the withdrawal of the Siamese 
from the territory east of the Salween. The British Yice- 
Consul at Chiengmai and the Siamese officer in command 
of their troops were notified that peace had been made and 
that the British troops were leaving the field ; the with- 
drawal of the Siamese was therefore necessary. The 
Siamese claims had been reserved for settlement in the 
terms of Sawlawi's appointment. The Chief Commissioner 
prohibited the Karenni chief from attacking or making any 
forcible resistance to them. When month after month 
passed and they made no show of retiring, but on the 
contrary began to appropriate the timber and even the 
elephants of the Karenni traders, the local Government of 
Burma was placed in a very uncomfortable position. Saw- 
lawi urged that he had accepted our terms, made his sub- 
mission and acknowledged himself to be the subordinate of 
the Queen-Empress. He looked in return for the advantage 


of British protection ; apparently he was not to have it. 
He knew well enough that it only needed a firm order and 
a small display of force to cause the retirement of the 
Siamese with more alacrity than they had displayed in their 
advance. Why was nothing done? If he began to doubt 
our good faith, it was no wonder. 

As a matter of fact a fact to him unknown, and unintel- 
ligible if it had been known the Chief Commissioner could 
do nothing but put the case to the Government of India. 
This was done in as strong words as possible. The 
Government of India could do nothing except through the 
Secretary of State; the Secretary of State could not act 
except through the British Foreign Office ; the Foreign 
Office was obliged to work through the Siamese Embassy in 
London and the British Resident in Bangkok; the King 
of Siam had to consult his local lieutenants at Chiengmai. 
The situation demanded patience, and much of it. 

It has been said above that the territory occupied by the 
Siamese was vital to the Karennis. Their best and most 
extensive forests, the main source of their wealth, lay there. 
The only way of getting timber to the market from the 
forests was (and is) by floating it down the Salween, the 
mouth of which is in British territory opposite to Moulmein. 
The logs are stopped and collected at Kado, a short distance 
from the mouth of the river, and a duty levied by the Govern- 
ment of Burma. Every owner of timber has his stamp 
with which he marks his logs, and a register of these stamps 
is kept by the forest officer. The logs which had been 
seized by the Siamese were easily distinguished, and orders 
were given to the forest officer to detain them. By this 
means a check was put upon the rapacity of the Siamese, 
and the loss of the Karenni timber dealers restricted. In 
the course of time, the matter was arranged between the 
Siamese and the Foreign Office, and the Karennis were 
restored to possession (vide Chapter XVIII, p. 221). 

The history of this matter shows the difficulties which 
the Government of India and their subordinates on the spot 
meet with in dealing with a boundary dispute, even of a 
simple kind, with a foreign country. The facts have to be 
gathered locally and placed before the Government of India, 
who then have to negotiate through the Foreign Office, with 


risk of misunderstanding and the certainty of long 
delays. It is unavoidable. Fortunately, on the north- 
western frontier, where the delays and hesitation which 
caused inconvenience in the disputes with Siam might breed 
serious trouble, the action of the Government of India is 
less trammelled. 



WITH the capture of Twet Nga Lu and the subjugation 
of the Bed Karens all serious trouble in the Shan 
States west of Sal ween ended. Writing in July, 1890, 
the Superintendent of the Southern Shan States was able 
to say : 

" During the year under report, which extends from the 
beginning of June, 1889, the Shan States have been perfectly 
quiet. Nowhere have there been any revolts, nowhere 
any insubordination or sedition ; hardly anywhere, except 
along the frontier with Burma, any dacoities or gang 
robberies." (Keport on the Shan States for 1889-90 by 
Mr. (now Sir George) Scott.) 

Pretenders had become convinced that they could not 
succeed against the chiefs who had been confirmed in 
possession by the Sovereign Power, and they settled down 
to make the best of things. The floating army of ruffians 
who had supplied the fighting material in past times had 
disappeared, and contrived to pick up a living in more 
peaceful ways. 

" They make very good show- figures in a Sawbwa's pro- 
cessions, with their tattooing from ankle to throat and their 
chest and arms bossed all over with armlets and charms let 
in below the skin. They are also admirable letter-carriers 
to distant States. They know all roads, they are afraid 
of nobody, and they seem to be able to trudge from dawn to 
sunset for an indefinite number of days. ... It is certain, 
however, that the States are infinitely quieter than they 
have been at any time since the death of King Mindon, 
and probably quieter than they have been at all." (Ibid.) 

The year 1889 therefore offered a good opportunity for 
attending to Trans- Salween affairs. 

15 209 


Early in this year the question of the frontier line which 
was to limit our responsibilities eastward was anxiously 
considered. Some of the States west of the Salween which 
had already come under our protection held or claimed 
ground east of the river. There were others lying wholly 
east of the Salween which had been subject to the dominion 
of Burma although they had been loosely held. Of these 
the most important, Kengtung and Kang Hung, held, or 
claimed to hold, territory east of the Mekong. 

It will be easily understood that the Government was 
not eager to lay hold of more territory than it was bound 
in honour to accept as the successor of the Burmese dynasty. 
We had already taken as much as we could administer or 
garrison with efficiency. Our authority was now definitely 
established up to the Salween. The country lying between 
that river and the Mekong was known to be mountainous, 
unhealthy, and unprofitable, destitute of roads, a succession 
of steep mountain ranges which made travelling most 
laborious. To maintain even a handful of troops in that 
region would be costly. Revenue, there would be none. 
It was asked where were our responsibilities to end? It 
was not easily answered. The problem had several sides 
the military, the political, and the administrative. From 
the soldiers' point of view the arguments in favour of 
making the Salween our eastern boundary had consider- 
able force. The river gave a clear and definite frontier 
drawn from north to south. The advance of a possible 
enemy through the country between the Mekong and the 
Salween could not, from the nature of the ground, be made 
without much difficulty ; whereas the defence would have, 
in the wide plateau with its rolling prairies on the west of 
the Salween, an admirable position, with easy communi- 
cations open to the Irrawaddy Valley. 

Looking at the matter, moreover, from a broader point of 
view, it was doubtful whether the British dominion in India 
was not outgrowing its strength. In 1886 the annexation 
of Upper Burma added, roughly, 120,000 square miles to the 
area for which the Government of India was responsible. 
Of this, roughly speaking, 20,000 square miles lay across 
the Salween. Before Upper Burma was added to the 
Empire it had been argued by a great military authority 


that if we were seriously threatened by an enemy beyond 
the frontier of India, it would be necessary to recall the 
garrison of British Burma and to let that province go 
for the time. If there were any foundation for this opinion 
the difficulty in the event supposed would be very much 
increased by the addition of the new province. For no 
addition had been made to the army in India since the 
annexation. There were strong reasons, therefore, for not 
going a yard farther than was necessary. The advance 
beyond the Salween meant the inclusion of some 20,000 
square miles of very difficult country and the possible 
neighbourhood of a troublesome power. 

In support of the military arguments it was urged that 
the Salween was designed by nature for a boundary. It 
cut its way, in a line running almost due north and south, 
through steep mountains and rocks. It was not navigable 
in its upper reaches ; the mouth and the navigable portion 
of the river were in our hands. But as a matter of fact, 
however adapted by its natural formation for such a purpose, 
the Salween has not been able to limit the spread of any race 
or power that has settled on its banks. On the north the 
Chinese hold both banks. The Shans have settled indis- 
criminately on either side. It proved no obstacle to the 
extension of the Burmese power to the eastward. In short, 
so far from having been " an uncompromising natural 
boundary," as it has been called, it has not been a 
boundary at all except for a short length of about sixty 
miles where it divides the Lower Burma Salween district 
from Siamese territory. Moreover, it is a timber-floating 
river. The teak cut on either bank must be rafted down 
to Moulmein ; and hence disputes would be sure to arise. 
Rivers, as a rule, are held to be bad boundaries, and the 
Salween is no exception. 

At first sight the strategical objections to crossing the 
Salween appeared to derive support from a consideration of 
the relations to foreign powers which might follow. It was 
not desired to take any step which might in the near future 
bring us into contact with France, and thus add a new 
factor to the frontier problems of our Indian Empire. The 
Government was even more anxious to avoid action which 
might give offence to Siam, or have the appearance of want 


of consideration in our dealings with that somewhat 
unreasonable power. 

Further examination, however, led to a doubt as to the 
soundness of these views. Supposing that the British 
Government, influenced by these motives, decided to decline 
responsibility for these Trans- Sal ween States, what would 
become of them ? Even Kengtung, the most powerful, could 
not stand alone. China and Siam might be invited to absorb 
them, and thus a belt of territory might be placed between 
our boundary and that of French dominion in Tonquin 
China. But China, it was believed, had no wish to increase 
her responsibilities in these regions, where her authority was 
very weak. Siam might be willing enough, but her rule 
would be feeble and unstable, and not welcome to the Shans. 
Both countries on this frontier were more likely to lose 
than to gain. If, with the view of avoiding the incon- 
veniences that might arise from becoming conterminous 
with a great Western Power in these distant countries, we 
should invite Siam or China, or both, to relieve us of the 
charge of the Trans- Sal ween country, what security was 
there that either of these powers would retain the territory 
given to them ? We might be creating the very conditions 
we wished to avert. The result of a cautious policy .of this 
kind might be to make our dominion conterminous with 
that of France, not on or beyond the Mekong but on the 
Salween itself an intolerable position. 

Looking at the matter from an administrative and local 
point of view, the Chief Commissioner was against stopping 
short of the frontier claimed by the King of Burma. It was 
argued that our new subjects, whether in Burma proper 
or in the Shan States, would not understand such a policy, 
and that it would have a bad effect on their feelings towards 
us. We might dignify it by the names of prudence and 
forbearance ; they would ascribe it to fear and weakness. 
To them we should seem to have lifted a burden too heavy 
for our strength. We were afraid of going into places which 
the King had held and prepared for us. 

This, however, might be disputed, or treated as a question 
of sentiment. But the practical objections were evident 
and insuperable. 

Looking to the character of the country lying between 

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the Salween and the Mekong, it was certain to be the 
refuge of all the discontent and outlawry of Burma. Unless 
it was ruled by a Government not only loyal and friendly 
to us, but thoroughly strong and efficient, this region would 
become a base for the operations of every brigand leader 
like Twet Nga Lu, or pretender such as Saw Yan Naing, 
where they might muster their followers and hatch their 
plots to raid British territory when opportunity offered. To 
those responsible for the peace and order of Burma such 
a prospect was not pleasant. 

These arguments prevailed, and it was decided to accept 
without flinching the full burden of responsibility which fell 
on us as standing in the King of Burma's place. 

The States east of the Salween which were under the 
King of Burma came under two categories : those which 
were governed directly by their own chiefs or Sawbwas, 
and those which were subordinate parts of certain Cis- 
Salween States. Kang Hung and Kengtung came in the 
first class, and were the most important of the Burmese 
possessions east of the Salween. Their position may be 
roughly judged by the tribute paid to the King and the 
contingent they were bound to supply to the royal army. 
The tribute consisted of gold blossoms and cups, candles, 
bales of silk, ponies, and embroidered pillows ; and it was 
due not only to the King and the heir-apparent, but to the 
members of the Hlutdaw, or Cabinet. Kang Hung sent 
tribute every third year, while Kengtung sent nearly thrice 
the value every year. The former State furnished a con- 
tingent of 2,500 men, half musketeers and half spearmen, 
and maintained seven posts on the southern frontier of from 
60 to 100 men. The latter 's contingent was of the same 
strength ; but seven guards, with garrisons of from 50 to 
200 men, had to be maintained by Kengtung on the southern 

Kang Hung was the largest in area of the Trans- Sal ween 
States connected with Burma. The greater and the richer 
part lay to the east of the Mekong, and was overlapped 
on the north-east and east by Chinese territory. It was 
divided into twelve "panna," or townships, six of which lay 
on the east and six on the west of the river. The six 
panna on the east were more under the influence of China 


than those on the west. Nevertheless, it is said that when 
Upper Burma was annexed there were no Chinese settlers in 
the eastern panna, and no interference of any kind by China 
with the administration of the country. Although in 1885 
the King of Burma, in his secret treaty with the French, pur- 
ported to cede Kang Hung to France, he had lost hold of 
Kang Hung altogether at that time, and he had no power 
then or previously to dispose of it without China's consent, 
although China did not meddle with the local Government. 

Kengtung, which adjoins Kang Hung on the south, has 
had something of a history. About the middle of last 
century the Siamese invaded it. They were routed, and 
did not care to try a second venture. Later on it was 
the first State to revolt against Thebaw's exactions. The 
people, led by their chief, attacked the Burman Resident, 
and put him and his escort to the sword. The similar 
revolt at Mongnai about the same time gave King Thebaw 
as much as he could do, and Kengtung was left alone. It 
has been related in Chapter XV how the Shan chieftains met 
at Kengtung and formed a Confederacy under the Limbin 
Prince. The chief of Kengtung had intrigued previously 
with the Myingun Prince with the object of inducing him 
to be their chief. As he was unable to come, the Limbin 
Prince was invited to lead. It was not the Burmese dynasty, 
but the person of King Thebaw they wished to be quit of. 

When the Limbin Confederacy dissolved and Mongnai 
and the leading Cis-Salween States came under the British 
flag, the Kengtung Sawbwa should have come with them. 
There were, however, influences which kept him aloof. The 
chief who had taken the lead against Thebaw had just died. 
His son, who was Sawbwa in 1888-9, was a mere boy, only 
thirteen years of age. The country between Kengtung and 
Mongnai, through which he would have had to pass to meet 
Mr. Hildebrand, had been much disturbed and was unsafe. 
It was well known that his father had invited the Myingun 
Prince to head the revolt against Thebaw. As the party of 
resistance to British rule in Burma regarded the Myingun 
as their leader, it was possible that Kengtung might not be 
welcomed by the British authorities. These apprehensions, 
however, would have had little force had it not been for 
Saw Waing, the ex-Sawbwa of Lawksawk, who, with an 


armed following, had taken refuge in Kengtung, and had 
obtained much influence over the young chief. If a repre- 
sentative from the Chief Commissioner could have gone im- 
mediately to Kengtung he would have submitted at once ; 
for he had no chance of standing alone, and he knew it. But 
it took time to decide our policy, and determine the course 
to be followed regarding the easternmost dependencies of 
Burma. It was not wonderful that the boy-Sawbwa and 
his advisers should await events. 

South of Kengtung, lying partly between it and the 
Mekong and partly across that river, was a small State 
called Chieng Kong. This State was believed at the time 
to be subordinate to Kengtung and to follow the fortunes 
of the larger State. 

The small districts which were formerly governed directly 
by Burma had been annexed by Kengtung about the time 
of his revolt against the King. They were not of import- 
ance, except that one of them, Hsenyawt, contained the 
chief ferry over the Salween and included land on both 
banks of the river. The other, Hsenmawng, was a small 
circle entirely surrounded by Kengtung land. These two 
little tracts had in the King's time been administered by 
Burmese officials, probably in connection with the customs 
levied on the ferry traffic. 

Kengtung had also appropriated the district of Mongpu, 
which had belonged to the Mongnai Sawbwa, and an 
adjoining tract known as Monghsat, which Mongnai also 
claimed. So far the questions concerned only the interests 
of our own feudatories. 

Farther to the south, down the east bank of the Salween, 
lay four small States Mong Tang, Mong Hang, Mong 
Kyawt, and Mong Hta. These four districts belonged to 
the Cis-Salween Sawbwa of Mongpan. Owing to the 
action of the Siamese officials, who attempted to take posses- 
sion of them, there was trouble in 1888, and the Superin- 
tendent had been sent across to arrange the disputed points 
with representatives of the Siamese authorities. The 
Siamese, however, did not choose to appear. They thought, 
it may be presumed, that having a bad case, or no case at 
all, they had a better chance of success by diplomatic 
action. On the spot, and with local evidence at hand to 


rebut them, it would have been difficult to prove their asser- 
tions. Nothing could be done under the circumstances but 
to inquire and report the facts. This was done. The 
Government of India were satisfied that these divisions 
belonged to Burma, and were part of the territory of the 
Mongpan Sawbwa. The Chief Commissioner was author- 
ised to put Mongpan in possession. Accordingly Mr. Scott 
visited the districts and formally installed the Sawbwa. 
He found that the residents were without exception 
Mongpan Shans. There were no Lao inhabitants. 

Until the dissolution of the Burmese authority in 1885, 
there had been no thought or talk of Siamese interference. 
At that time, seeing the chance of advancing their frontier 
to the Salween, an ambition they had doubtless cherished, 
the Chiengmai officials had ordered the headmen of these 
States to appear to swear fealty to Siam. They obeyed the 
order as the only means of escaping destruction, They 
returned gladly to their hereditary chieftain. 

For five weeks after Mr. Scott's visit there was perfect 
quiet. How it came about that this settlement was again 
disturbed is not quite clear. The Siamese were bent on 
advancing their frontier to the Salween up to the southern 
boundary of Kengtung. Seeing that Mr. Scott had re- 
turned and had left no evidence of British authority in the 
shape of official or garrison, the former game was repeated. 
The headmen of the four States were again summoned " to 
drink the water of allegiance." Three of them obeyed. 
The fourth, Mong Tang, sent a representative and wrote at 
the same time to the Mongpan Sawbwa excusing his con- 
duct on the ground of force majeure, and promising to return 
to his lawful lord when order was finally restored. 

It was not until some time afterwards that the Siamese 
made overt demonstrations by sending armed parties to the 
States, but the people were very much alarmed and ceased 
all communication with the west of the Salween. This 
reopening of the matter was not comprehended by the 
Shans, and it did not help to enhance our reputation in the 
Shan States. 

South-west of these Trans-Salween possessions of Mong- 
pan, and separated from them by a Siamese district called 
Mueng Fai, lie two districts, Mehsakun and Mongmau, 


forming part of the territory of Mawkraai. The history 
of these tracts illustrates the fluid state in which the 
country on the borders of the Shan States and Siam was 
in 1887-9, and for some time previously. Perhaps neither 
Burma nor Siam had any established and acknowledged 
authority in these regions. In 1823 the chief of Mawkmai, 
Ne Noi by name, who was distinguished by the appellation of 
the Kolan (nine fathom) Sawbwa, was cast into prison in the 
Burmese capital. He escaped, and returned to his country 
through Eastern Karenni, in much the same way as the 
Hsipaw Sawbwa at a later date. But he could not with- 
stand the Burmese power; and crossing the Salween, with 
the aid of Shans from Mawkmai he " carved," to use the 
words of Mr. Scott's report, " the two States of Mehsakun 
and Mongmau out of the jungle," and settled down there 
with his own people. 

Here he lived for twenty years, until in 1873 he obtained 
a pardon and went back to Mawkmai, leaving a nephew to 
govern the Trans- Sal ween acquisitions. While he was at 
Mawkmai he was no peaceful neighbour, but made himself 
feared by the Karennis on his south border and by the 
Laos on the south and east. So far from being in any 
way subordinate to the Siamese officials at Chiengmai, he 
attacked the Siamese district of Mehawnghsawn and drove 
out the Shan, named Taiktaga San, who had been placed 
there by the Chiengmai authorities. He bestowed the dis- 
trict on his niece, by name Nang Mya. She was a lady with 
much force of character, who in England, in the reign of 
King George V. would have been a militant suffragette, 
and would have made short work of the ministry by marry- 
ing them all out of hand. Nang Mya, probably feeling the 
need of local knowledge and connections, dismissed her 
first husband, who bore the not very imposing name of 
Pu Chang Se, recalled her predecessor, Taiktaga San, from 
exile, and made him her consort. When the Kolan (nine 
fathom) Sawbwa returned across the Salween to Mawkmai, 
she and her new consort transferred their allegiance to the 
Siamese Governor at Chiengmai, without opposition on the 
part of the Mawkmai Sawbwa. Mehawnghsawn, it may 
be explained, is farther from Mawkmai than from Chieng- 
mai, and the Salween flows between. 


This transaction, however, did not affect the districts of 
Mehsakun and Mongmau, which remained under Mawkmai 
territory without question until 1888. 

When the Red Karen chief, after the old Kolan's death, 
attacked Mawkmai, Kun Noi, who was governing Mehsakun 
on his uncle's behalf, behaved disloyally to his cousin, the 
rightful heir to Kolan, and induced the Karenni to make him 
master of Mawkmai. How Kun Hmon was restored to his 
position in Mawkmai by a British force has been told above 
(Chapter XV, p. 184). He was unable, however, to regain 
the two Trans- Sal ween districts, and it was not convenient 
at the moment to send a party across to reinstate him. Kun 
Noi, having been ejected from Mawkmai by the British, 
turned his thoughts to Siam and opened communications 
with the Chiengmai authorities through his cousin, the 
lady Nang Mya, who governed at Mehawnghsawn, with the 
view of placing himself under their protection. This was 
the origin of the Siamese pretensions to the Trans-Salween 
districts of Mawkmai. They had no foundation in right. 
It had been for some time their ambition to advance their 
frontier to the Salween, but as long as Burma had a remnant 
of strength, they could not. They thought the time oppor- 
tune when the Burmese power had gone and the British 
had not yet made good their hold. On the 6th of March, 
1889, a band of men, some of whom were militia from 
Chiengmai, came and occupied Tahwepon, the chief ferry 
on the Salween in Mawkmai territory, and hoisted the 
elephant flag of Siam, claiming the whole of the borderland 
lying east of the river for the King of Siam. 

The position of Eastern Karenni has been explained in 
the chapter concerning events in that country. The people 
are numerous and all Karen. In the thirty-eight villages in 
which they live there are neither Shans nor Laos. The 
territory had been for many years in the hands of the Karenni 
chief, and was colonized by his people, just as the two dis- 
tricts north of it had been colonized by Mawkmai. It formed 
the most profitable portion of the Karenni State, by reason 
of its extensive and valuable teak forests. The capital 
required to work the timber was found by British subjects 
from Moulmein, the Karennis furnishing the labour. The 
timber trade was completely stopped by the Siamese ; the 


elephants employed on it seized and carried off. The float- 
ing of the timber which had to be sent down to Moulmein 
by the Salween was prevented, and communication between 
the east and west banks prohibited by them. Such a state 
of affairs was most galling to the Karennis and injurious to 
the dignity and to the revenues of their chief. 

Such was the condition of affairs in 1889, and it became 
necessary to take action to prevent further mischief. It 
was decided by the Government of India, in communication 
with the Foreign Office, to appoint a Commission to survey 
the frontier and settle disputed points with representatives 
of the Siamese. Accordingly, as soon as the season per- 
mitted, a Commission was formed under Mr. Ney Elias, 
C.I.E., as chief. The members of the Commission were 
Mr. W. J. Archer, Her Britannic Majesty's Vice-Consul at 
Chiengmai, Mr. J. G. (now Sir J. George) Scott, Major 
E. G. Barrow (now Sir Edmund Barrow), Captain F. J. 
Pink (now Colonel Francis J. Pink, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., 
Queen's Royal West Surrey Regiment). A survey party 
from the Government of India, under Captain H. M. 
Jackson, R.E., was attached to the Commission. Surgeon 
J. K. Close was appointed to the medical charge, with Dr. 
Darwin as his assistant. The escort, commanded by Major 
Clarke, O.L.I., was composed of two companies of the 
Oxford Light Infantry, two guns of a Mountain Battery, 
and a few rifles of the Shan (military police) Levy. 

Early in December the Commission met at Fort Sted- 
man, and marching down through Loikaw and Sawlon, the 
Karenni capital, encamped near Ywathit, at the ferry on the 
Salween called Ta Sangle. Here they had expected to 
meet the Commissioners who, it was understood, had been 
appointed by the Bangkok Government to represent it. No 
one appeared, however, with credentials from Siam. 
Whether this was a deliberate act of discourtesy, or only 
a failure caused by the general debility of the Siamese 
administration, may be questioned. Most probably it was 
an instance of the common policy of Orientals and others 
with a weak case, who prefer to plead before a distant 
and necessarily more ignorant tribunal, rather than to 
submit their statements and evidence to a well-informed 
officer on the spot. Perhaps, also, the advisers of the 


Siamese Government avoided taking part in the inquiry 
in order that they might refuse to be bound by an unwel- 
come finding. 

Under these circumstances, Mr. Elias was forced to 
proceed in the absence of the other side. The working 
season in these latitudes is short, and to have delayed action 
would have played the Siamese game and given them more 
time to harass the Karennis and appropriate their property. 
Although no final decision could be arrived at, the Commis- 
sion could ascertain the facts, survey the country, and 
place the matter in a clear light before the Government 
of India. At least we should acquire an exact knowledge of 
the case, and be able to say what we were fighting about. 
The business, therefore, was allowed to proceed. 

A standing camp was formed at Ta Sangle, and three 
parties, led by Mr. Ney Elias, Mr. Archer, and Mr. J. G. 
Scott, respectively, started to examine and survey the 
Karenni country. Ten months had passed since the 
Siamese had appeared in these parts. The time occupied 
unavoidably in a triangular correspondence between the 
Chief Commissioner in Burma, the Government of India 
in Simla, and the Foreign Office at Whitehall, had not 
been altogether wasted by the Siamese, who had endeavoured 
to get the proverbial nine points of the law on their side. 
They had established a series of posts along the Salween, 
all of them stockaded and flying the white elephant flag 
of Siam. In each of these posts were faily large garrisons 
of from fifty to one hundred men, some of them well armed 
Siamese troops, others Laos and Shans men, these latter, 
from the west of the Salween, who had sought refuge in 
Siamese territory from the troublous times of the past 

It was found that the frontier of Trans-Salween Karenni 
was clearly defined by a range running from north to south, 
from fifteen to five-and-twenty miles from the Salween. 
The inhabitants, almost all Karens, had built their villages 
on this frontier range. As they live by the rude method of 
cultivation known as Taungya, they frequently move from 
one site to another to get fresh ground. The forests are rich 
in teak, but the timber was worked not by the Karens, 
but by Shans, or by Burmese traders from Moulmein. 


Everything went to show that the country had been settled 
and opened up by the Eed Karens, and that the Siamese 
neither had nor pretended to have any rights over it 
until the time of our expedition against Sawlapaw. From 
inquiries made and from the number of their villages the 
Karen population was estimated at between three and 
four thousand. The Siamese had taken a very practical 
method of marking them for their own. All adult males 
without exception had been tattooed on the forearm with 
the emblem of an elephant, with a running number added 
below. At first it was thought that this might help us 
to compute the number of people in the country. But 
the tattooing had not been done systematically at the 
villages where the people lived, but at markets and ferries 
as they chanced to come from the villages around, to 
sell their produce or make purchases. Thus while one 
man in a village might be branded with the number one 
hundred, his neighbour in the same village might be 
numbered four hundred. Without visiting every village, 
therefore, it was not possible to learn the highest number 
reached, and for this there was not time. 

Going north to the districts of Mongmau and Mehsakun, 
claimed by Mawkmai, Mr. Elias was met by a major in 
the Siamese army, who claimed to be a member of the 
Commission representing Siam. This gentleman begged 
the question in dispute by welcoming Mr. Elias to Siamese 
territory, but made no further contribution to its settlement. 
The inquiry having convinced the Commission that the 
Mawkmai Sawbwa's right to these districts was beyond 
doubt, he was permitted to resume possession. He brought 
in his officials with an escort of his own Shans, and the 
Siamese officers thereupon retired. Mawkmai's possession 
was not disturbed again. 

In the four States claimed by Mongpan events took a similar 
course. An official representing Siam was found encamped 
close to Mong Tung, with about one hundred and fifty men. 
He was requested to leave, as these States were undoubtedly 
British territory and had been formally so declared. He 
left without delay or reluctance, and the Mongpan Sawbwa 
was put in possession, his nephew being appointed governor 
of the four States, and entrusted with the task of restoring 


them to order and prosperity. So far the Commission had 
completed their task. As the Siamese had failed to co- 
operate, the decisions could not be regarded as final. They 
were left, as the Bangkok Government may have intended, 
to be reopened and disputed in London. Much information, 
however, had been gathered about a country hitherto 
unknown, and a solid foundation laid for a lasting settle- 
ment of our frontier with Siam. Captain Jackson's party 
had worked with the energy for which he had already won 
a reputation in three preceding seasons in the Cis-Salween 

"In this his fourth season," wrote the Superintendent 
of the Southern Shan States to the Chief Commissioner, 
" he had an exceedingly difficult region to survey, and 
he has fixed on our charts an area which would probably 
have exceeded the powers of any one whose physique was 
not in equal proportion to his zeal." 

Before the Commission had finished the settlement of 
this strip of country from the south border of Eastern 
Karenni to the northern frontier of Mong Tung, it had 
become evident that if they were to complete their task 
the whole body could not visit Kengtung. Mr. Scott, there- 
fore, was deputed for this purpose, and left early in February. 
He decided to start from Mongnai, where he proceeded 
in order to procure transport. The lateness of the season 
made it above all things necessary to march quickly, impos- 
sible with pack bullocks, the ordinary transport of the Shans, 
which make thirty-four stages from Mongnai to Kengtung 
The Panthays (Chinese Mohammedans) with their mules, do 
the same journey in twelve days. They march from day- 
light to midday, and after a couple of hours' halt go on 
till sunset. Mules have the advantage of bullocks in the 
matter of gear as well as in speed and endurance. The 
loads are fastened not to the saddle, but to a light wooden 
frame which fits into grooves on the saddle, and can be 
lifted off in a minute and as easily replaced. The process 
of loading and unloading is therefore greatly simplified, 
and much labour and time saved. Moreover, baggage of 
all sorts and shapes can be loaded on mules, whereas 
bullocks cannot carry any that will not fit into their 
baskets. Then a mule will walk almost as fast as a man 


in heavy marching-order, and will cover twelve or fifteen 
miles while a bullock is doing his five ; so that instead 
of waiting for their food after a twelve-mile march until 
the bullocks hobble in when the sun is low, the men will 
get their food half an hour after they reach camp. But 
Mr. Scott has led us away from the business in hand in 
his enthusiasm for mules. 

Panthay mules are not to be found waiting on a stand 
like taxi-cabs. It is not easy to get them for casual work. 
Mr. Scott, therefore, was kept some time at Mongnai waiting 
for mules, and then could not get enough and had to fill 
the gap with elephants. From Mongnai he went up north 
by the Nam Teng Valley, crossing the Nam Teng at Ko-up, 
where a bamboo bridge had been built over the river. The 
villages on both sides of the river had been raided by the 
brigand Twet Nga Lu, whose story has been told elsewhere 
(vide Chapters XV and XVI). 

East of the Nam Teng Kiver in the State of Keng 
Tawng, "the country for nearly twenty miles at a 
stretch," Mr. Scott reported, " is practically a desert. Yet 
all along the road old wells and ruinous monasteries and the 
grass-grown skeletons of former paddy-fields, to say nothing 
of hill-clearings, showed that formerly there must have been 
a large population here. . . . The handful of people who 
have so far returned to Keng Tawng have settled twenty 
miles farther south, round the site of the old capital. There 
is a magnificent banyan-tree, known far and wide as Mai 
Hung Kan, at Maklang. . . . The adjoining monastery was 
burnt by Twet Nga Lu's brigands, and not even the sanctity 
of the tree which twenty men could not span, under whose 
branches a fair-sized village might be built, has yet been 
able to persuade the monks to return. There are not, in 
fact, enough of the pious in the neighbourhood to support 

Of the next State entered, Keng Hkam, the same story has 
to be told. The Nam Pang, a stormy river which rises in the 
north near Lashio, flows into the Salween near Keng Hkam. 
The valuable portion of this district consists of an extensive 
plateau extending along the right bank of the Nam Pang, 
where tobacco and sugar grow well, and very fine rice-fields 
and extensive groves of palms made the country rich. 


" The State suffered greatly in the Twet Nga Lu's dis- 
turbances. The old capital was absolutely destroyed, and 
nothing now remains but the ruins of fine teak monasteries 
and some ornate pagodas absolutely falling to pieces. 

The chief had moved to a new town three or four miles off, 
but intended, now order had been restored, to build again 
on the old site. Many families had emigrated to the east of 
the Salween. 

This chief, styled Myoza, accompanied Mr. Scott to 
Kengtung. "His avowed object was to improve his mind by 
travel, and to learn English modes of procedure. It after- 
wards, however, appeared that he was attracted more by the 
fame of the charms of a lady of the Kengtung Eoyal Family 
than by a craving for knowledge. " He was successful in 
his wooing," wrote Mr. Scott, " and it may be hoped that 
his bride will put an end to the habit which he is developing 
of making inconsequent set speeches. Otherwise he is in 
great danger of becoming an intolerable young prig." 

It is not possible here to follow the journey to Keng- 
tung march by march. It must suffice to give some idea of 
the country through which the party had to go. From 
Keng Hkam to the Kaw Ferry on the Salween, the road 
was easy enough, the only difficulties being caused by the 
passage of the Nam Pang, across which, owing to the nature 
of the bed of the stream, the pack animals could not swim, 
and had to be ferried over. The Nam Teng, which was one 
hundred paces wide and twelve feet deep under the eastern 
bank, would have been a cause-of delay had not the Shans 
thrown a bamboo bridge across the stream. This bridge 
built by the villagers, in six days it was said, was crossed 
easily and safely by the loaded transport mules. The 
bamboo is worth more to the peasants than gold and silver 
and precious stones. With it a Burrnan or Shan can do 
almost anything. For offence or defence, for house or 
furniture, for carrying water or making a raft, the bamboo is 
equally good. 

Mr. Scott's party crossed the Salween at the Kaw Ferry, 
which is in the small State of Hsenyawt, which is described 
as a simple chaos of hills with probably not above a couple 
of hundred acres of flat paddy-land in its whole area. The 
village, which exists for the ferry rather than for any other 


reason, can hardly find room for more than two or three 
houses in a cluster, and is consequently scattered over a 
square mile or so of broken ground. On the other side of 
the Sal ween it is uninhabited, and the road for some distance 
is very difficult, climbing along the side of a gorge through 
which the Nam Leng runs. Mr. Scott tells us that the 
Panthay traders carry picks and spades to make the road as 
they go, and it is only their labour which has kept the route 
open. From the ferry the road runs north-east to Hsen- 
mawng, which is another small State and town under the 
same man who governs Hsenyawt. There are two routes 
to Kengtung from this place. One, the northern, through 
Mong Ping, bears the proud title of Lammadaw (the 
royal road), and was always used in Burmese times; but 
landslips had made it dangerous for animals, and fighting 
between rival leaders, for men. The other road, which kept 
more to the south, passing through a district named Mong Pu 
Awn, was perhaps longer but better, and was followed by 
Mr. Scott. It follows a zigzag course. First north-east, 
to Hsenmawng, then south-east to Mong Hsen, then north- 
west again to Kengtung. " East of Hsenmawng," writes Mr. 
Scott, " is a simple sea of hills, range behind range all the 
way to Kengtung. The main ridges run nearly due north 
and south, and they with their spurs and sub-features, can 
hardly be said to be broken by the valleys of Mong Pu Awn 
or of Mong Hsen. It is a constant succession of ascents 
and descents the whole way to Kengtung." 

The mountains crossed were often of some height, and 
between the altitudes of 3,500 and 5,000 feet were covered 
with pine forest. The main range of Loi * Pe Mong, the 
great divide between the Sal ween and the Mekong Valleys, 
which averages 6,000 feet, and rises in many places to more 
than 7,000, carries no pine forests. 

" On the spurs and sub-features, which stretch faraway to 

the west, forming what may be almost called a plateau a 

very uneven one certainly, cut up by gigantic gullies, and 

sprinkled with numerous eminences, but still a rough sort 

of tableland pine forest is the prevailing growth, and 

seems to give place to oak and chestnut above 5,000 feet, 

which, however, is about the average of this high-land 

* Loi in Shan means "mountain." 



plain. Notwithstanding the ruggedness of the country 
which is very much like a Brobdingnagian ploughed field, 
the road is not by any means bad. It is very fatiguing, but 
for a mule-track it is very much better than the roads at 
many places in the Western States, where the path climbs 
straight up the hillside with a Koman directness of purpose, 
or follows stream beds and rocky gorges with a pertinacity 
born of an ignorance of shoe-leather. Beyond the Salween 
the track follows the line of the spurs, with the result that 
one very seldom has a back-breaking climb. The credit of 
this natural engineering eye seems to belong rather to the 
Panthay and Chinese merchants than to the natives of the 
country ; for farther south, where the Panthay caravans pass 
but seldom, the paths follow the usual Shan system of going 
straight from point to point." It was through a country of 
this sort that the little party which was to receive the sub- 
mission of its chief, and settle his relations with the Sove- 
reign Power, made its way. With Scott were two other 
white men, Captain Pink, of the Queen's Koyal West 
Surrey Eegiment, who was a member of the Commission, 
and Dr. Darwin, a civil surgeon, in the service of the 
Burman Government. The escort consisted of eighteen old 
soldiers, Sikhs of the Shan levy which had lately been taken 
over by the army, and as many untrained recruits of the 
same corps. There were besides a few Burmese clerks 
on Mr. Scott's staff, some servants and camp-followers, 
the transport mules with their Panthay drivers, a few ele- 
phants which were more imposing though less agile than 
the mules and lastly the princely wooer in the shape of the 
Myoza of Keng Hkam, with a tail of rough spear-men to 
give a touch of romance to the cortege. Not a very impos- 
ing embassage, certainly, to represent the majesty of 
England, and to require the allegiance of a chief who ruled 
over twenty thousand square miles of country. But the 
leaders had the right spirit, and not a man with them, from 
the trained soldiers to the rough mule-drivers, but marched 
with his head high. 

The town of Kengtung is about ten miles as the crow 
flies from the pass over the Loi P& Mong. 

" It lies in a plain about twenty miles long and perhaps 
fifteen broad. To the west and north this is perfectly flat 


and under paddy cultivation ; to the east and south are low 
grassy hills with swamps in the hollows. The town is 
built on the western edge of this rolling country and over- 
looks the paddy-lands. It is surrounded by a wall about 
fifteen feet high, and machicolated at the top." (The wall 
and a moat were constructed by the Burman King Alompra 
in the eighteenth century.) " The bricks are insufficiently 
burnt, the wall is old and therefore crumbled away in many 
places, so that it is picturesque rather than formidable; 
moreover, some hills to the south-west would enable field- 
guns to drop shells wherever they pleased over the enceinte. 
The wall follows the line of the rolling ground, and to the 
north and south towers above the plain. To the west it 
has not this natural advantage, and jungle affords admirable 
cover up to the dry ditch which protects it on this side. To 
north-east and south swampy ground covers the approach. 
The walls measure four and three-quarter miles round, and 
have ten gates, which used to be covered by semicircular 
arches. Only two of these arches, however, now remain, 
both on the eastern face. There is very little level ground 
within the walls, and only the northern half of the walled 
town is inhabited. Even this portion is so overrun with 
trees as to be almost jungle, and there are several large 
swamps among the houses. These supply the people with 
water to drink and small mud-fish to eat. There are prob- 
ably seven or eight hundred houses within the walls, and 
many of these are very substantial. Some are entirely built 
of brick ; some have brick basements and plank walling ; 
and the number of bamboo houses is very small. All the 
better-class houses are roofed with small tiles made locally. 
To judge from the Sawbwa's audience-hall, these tiles are 
not a very satisfactory protection against rain, but they at 
any rate prevent the fires which do such frequent mischief 
in other Shan towns. The monasteries are numerous, and 
some of them are adorned with elaborate carving and wall 
paintings. They are much like the ordinary Burmese or 
Shan Kyaung (monastery) in general architecture, but there 
is an indefinable suggestion of Tartar influence about them. 
This is particularly noticeable in the massive gateways 
which immediately suggest the paifang of China." 

There was a very large colony of Shan Chinese to the 


east of the town. They had large gardens and kept innu- 
merable goats, pigs, ducks, and fowls. 

" Their houses are all built of bamboo, and their villages, 
like those of China, are inconceivably dirty, though in their 
person the inhabitants are clean enough." 

To the industry of these people is due the manufacture 
of tiles and of the pottery work, which is sold cheap and of 
great variety in Kengtung bazaar. The inhabitants of the 
plain in which the city lies were, Mr. Scott estimated, 
about twenty thousand. There were some military sur- 
veyors in his party, but owing to the very critical state of 
affairs for some time after the city was entered, it was 
thought better not to send them out to survey. 

Such, briefly, was the city of Kengtung when the small 
British party entered its gates on the 14th of March, 1890. 
The elephants, although they marched slowly, and may 
have been execrated at times on that account, undoubtedly 
added pomp to the somewhat insignificant procession which 
entered the city. What followed is best told in the words 
of Mr. Scott's report. (Eeport on Southern Shan States 
for the year 1889-90.) 

" We were met at the edge of the plain by the Tawphaya, 
the Sawbwa's cousin and Chief Minister, along with a 
number of the principal officials, and marched in proces- 
sion to the town. Great part of the road was lined by 
villagers, who stood in many places three or four deep 
to see us pass. We camped on the site of the old Burmese 
post, and were visited almost immediately after our tents 
were pitched by the Sawbwa and his half-brother, the Kyem 
Meung (heir-apparent). The Sawbwa is sixteen, and looks 
older. The Kyem Meung's age is a matter of dispute 
between the Ministers, his mother, and himself. Dates 
vary over three years, but he looks a good deal younger 
than his brother. 

" A formal return visit was paid to the Sawbwa next 
day. He is building himself a new brick haw (palace), 
and the old palace, which is a dingy wooden erection, is 
said to be so rickety that it would have infallibly collapsed 
with the number of people who were to be present at the 
reception. We were therefore received in the court-house, 
which looks rather like a railway goods shed outside, but 


has been rather highly decorated within. The gilding is 
now, however, worn and tawdry. There is a large gold 
throne at the farther end, enclosed within a railing, and 
reached by folding doors from behind, like the Mandalay 
Yazapalin, which it otherwise resembles in construc- 
tion. The Sawbwa and his brother sat on chairs in front 
of this, outside the railing, and we were placed between 
them. There was an enormous gathering of officials both 
of the town and the neighbourhood, and of the prominent 
merchants of the town, and the conversation was kept up 
by these and by the Kyem Meung, for the Sawbwa had 
never a word to say beyond Yes or No. The merchants 
all talked of the opening up of communications with the 
West, and particularly of the construction of a railway. 
Trade at present is entirely with China. The old Chieng- 
mai trade is greatly interfered with, and almost put an 
end to by taxations, restrictions, and imposts levied at the 
Siamese frontier posts. The general impression received 
was that the merchant class and the bulk of the ministers 
were delighted with the establishment of British authority 
in Kengtung. There is a huge drum near the door of 
the audience-hall. It is made of hide stretched on a 
wooden frame, and is about the size of a puncheon. This 
is said to have been made by the ' hill-people,' but by 
what hill-people and where, nobody knew. One stroke 
on this Sigyi announces that the Sawbwa has ascended 
the throne ; two, that he has left the palace to go through 
the town ; and three strokes summon all officials and armed 
men within hearing to the palace without an instant's 
delay. We heard three strokes on this drum a good many 
times during the next few days. 

" On the night of the 16th of March, the second day 
after our arrival, there was a pwe (a posture dance) inside 
the Sawbwa's enclosure. Eight of our Panthay mule-drivers, 
who had been out searching for stray mules, went in after 
dark to buy cheroots at the usual bazaar. They were set 
on by the Sawbwa's men. Most of them escaped, but one 
man was seized, held with his face to the ground and shot 
in the back by the Sawbwa himself. He was then set 
free and went back to his camp. Two other shots were 
heard, and one of the Panthays has never since been seen. 


The Panthay camp was some distance away in the plain, 
and before I had got more than the excited account of 
one of the Panthays, who fled from the palace to our camp, 
I had demanded, next morning, an explanation from the 
Sawbwa, and the production of the man who had fired 
the revolver. I got no explanation, except that the 
Sawbwa had issued an order that none of our followers 
were to be allowed to go about in the town wearing arms. 
In a country where every male above six years wears 
a dagger, this was an absurdity. The order had not, 
moreover, been communicated to our people. I therefore 
demanded the surrender of the offender, and had issued 
this order before the Panthays managed to summon up 
courage enough to denounce the Sawbwa himself as the 
murderer. It was impossible to recede. It was necessary 
for British prestige and for our own personal safety to 
settle the case. Our followers expected to be massacred 
in their beds ; the Sawbwa feared that he would be seized 
in his palace, and filled it with armed men. For two days 
the suspense was rather trying. I then announced that 
if my orders were not complied with, I would march down 
to the haw the next day. This brought up the Tawpaya 
and several other ministers, with a petition that I would 
decide the case as it stood. They produced no witnesses, 
and did not deny that the Sawbwa was the offender. I 
therefore sentenced him to pay Es. 500 compensation to 
the wounded man and Rs. 1,500 if the missing man was 
not produced within five days alive and well. This sentence, 
I informed them, was a concession to the low state of their 
civilization and the ignorance of the Sawbwa. The Rs. 500 
were paid a couple of hours afterwards, and the Rs. 1,500 a 
few days before we left. 

" The incident was all the more embarrassing, because 
none of the details of the Sawbwa's relations with the 
British Government had been settled. He had been reduced 
to such a state of fear that it was only by again threatening 
to march down to the haw that I was able to persuade 
him to come and discuss the terms under which he received 
a sanad of appointment from the British Government. 
When he did come, however, his manner was much more 
satisfactory, and he accepted in every detail the terms of 


the sanad and promised to attend future Durbars of the 
Shan chiefs. Other matters which had to be arranged 
with him concerning his western frontier were also easily 
put in train for settlement." 

It is impossible to read this brief account without doing 
homage to the well-considered audacity of Mr. Scott's 
action, which ended once for all any inclination on the 
part of Kengtung to resist the British Government. 

During the next few days the terms of the Sawbwa's 
patent of investiture were finally arranged. In his leisure 
time a wealth of information regarding the province and its 
wonderful variety of races was acquired by Mr. Scott, which 
it is regretted for the reader's sake cannot be given here. 

On the 29th of March, three days before the time fixed for 
leaving Kengtung, a Durbar was held for the purpose of 
formally presenting the chief with his patent of appoint- 
ment. It was attended by all the officials connected with 
the Kengtung State. The only foreigners present were 
the princely wooer from Keng Hkam and the brother-in-law 
of the Mongnai Sawbwa. But so large is the area of the 
State that the assemblage was as numerous as if it had 
been a general Durbar of the Shan States at Fort Stedman. 
Mr. Scott improved the occasion by impressing on them 
that British supremacy meant peace and trade. 

" As is usual with a speech in the Shan States, a running 
comment was kept up in different parts of the audience on 
the various points enumerated, and on the whole it seemed 
that their comprehension was satisfactory and their resolu- 
tion praiseworthy. The ministers promised by the Sawbwa 
complete obedience to the Chief Commissioner in all matters 
connected with the State ; and the Sawbwa himself was 
divided between admiration for the repeating carbine which 
he received as a present and a laudable desire to be 

The party left Kengtung on their return journey on the 
1st of April, and marched. back by a southerly route through 
the four small States belonging to Mongpan, where some 
disputes had arisen which required Mr. Scott's orders. 
These questions were finally settled for the time at least 
at Mongpan, and Mr. Scott then returned to Fort Stedman, 
which he reached after an absence of six months, on the 


6th of June, 1890. He had been away on this distant work 
all the open season of 1889-90. Although the Shan States 
in his immediate charge had not been visited by the 
Superintendent, there had been no trouble. The Sawbwas 
as well as the British administrators were putting aside 
warlike things, and devoting their energies to the things 
of peace. The Lawksawk chief had done us good service 
in 1899 by capturing the Setkya Mintha, a pretender who 
had been a nuisance since the annexation. In 1890 he 
broke up and captured most of the gang that followed a 
noted leader Kyaw Zaw. The growth of wheat and other 
crops occupied the minds of other Sawbwas, while the 
Chief Commissioner was devising a procedure code to guide 
the Shan rulers in administering the law. It was necessary 
to frame rules which should secure substantial justice and 
at the same time should not be beyond the powers of the 
Shan judges to comprehend. Communications between the 
States and Burma were vigorously pushed on, although not 
quite as fast as the Superintendent wished and in his 
enthusiasm thought possible. 

The work done in 1889-90 was good and lasting. 
Although, owing to the failure of the Siamese Government 
to take part in the inquiry, a further Commission had to 
be appointed to settle and demarcate the boundary, the 
decisions arrived at by Mr. Ney Elias were practically 
confirmed, when the final demarcation was made in 1892-3 
to some extent by Mr. Hildebrand, but for the most part 
by Mr. H. G. A. Leveson, of the Indian Civil Service and 
of the Burman Commission. The only difference of im- 
portance was that the minor State of Chieng Kong, which 
bestrode the Mekong and was supposed to be more or 
less tributary to Kengtung, was, as regards the eastern or 
Trans-Mekong portion, of which Mong Hsing was the chief 
town, assigned to Siam. 

But before the Government at Bangkok had had time 
to receive the homage of the Mong Hsing chief, the French 
crossed the Menam and obtained the treaty of Chantabun 
from Siam, by which everything east of the Mekong passed 
to France and Mong Hsing became French. 

As to Kang Hung, in arranging matters with China we 
transferred all the rights in this State on both sides the 


Mekong the whole, in fact, of the Sibsong Panna (or twelve 
provinces) to China, on the condition that she should never 
cede any part of it to another power. With an almost 
indecent haste, China gave up a portion of the Kang Hung 
country to France. As a protest, we refused to pay the 
decennial tribute of gold flowers, which had been conceded 
to save the face of China after the annexation, and de- 
manded a revision of the eastern frontier of Burma agreed 
with China in 1894. A new agreement was made in 1897 
which gave Burma a better boundary. It is not likely that 
new difficulties will arise on this side, although the boundary 
has not been demarcated. Trouble is more probable on the 
north, where no openings should be left. China does not 
forget her claim to Burma. 

Kengtung showed a proper sense of his duties after Mr. 
Scott's lesson to him. The present Sawbwa, who was at 
the Delhi Durbar in 1903, is reported to have said to one 
of the officers from Burma, "We thought we were. great 
men, but now we see that we are only monkeys from the 
jungle." So Durbars, like other forms of adversity, may 
have their uses, and quite as sweet. 


YITHEN Upper Burma was annexed the first step towards 
VV the constitution of a well-ordered province was to 
parcel out the country into districts of such a size and with 
such boundaries that they could be conveniently adminis- 
tered. The wise course was followed of preserving the old 
native divisions, which had probably resulted from the 
teaching of experience and the nature of the country and 
differences of race. For few innovations vex a people more 
than changes in the boundaries of the units of jurisdiction 
which touch their daily life. Hence it came to pass that 
all the country between 23 37' N. and the undefined line 
dividing Upper Burma from China and Thibet, somewhere 
about 28 N., was constituted the charge of a single Deputy 
Commissioner, with the China frontier as its eastern 
boundary, and as its western limit the Hukawng Valley, the 
Upper Chindwin district, and further south the Katha 
district. The headquarters of the Deputy Commissioner 
and of the military garrison were placed at the town of 
Bhamo, from which the district took its name. 

The Irrawaddy cuts the district in two from north to 
south. The town of Bhamo lies in a plain along the left 
bank of the river, midway between two defiles, usually 
spoken of as the first and second defile, through which the 
waters rushing down from the region of mountains in the 
north have cut their way. The river is open all the year 
round, as far as Bhamo to large river- steamers. But the 
first or northern defile is always difficult, and when the 
river is in flood, impassable. Hence Bhamo is the gate of 
Upper Burma, and the port for the trade which has existed 
for centuries with Western Yunnan. In a very small way 




it is the Peshawur of Burma, and for the purpose of 
raids and such like the Kachin tribes play the part of 
the Pathans on the north-west frontier of India. The 
greater part of the district is hilly and covered with 
forest ; and the Kachins, who form quite a third of the 
population, live in the hills. 

It is said that trade follows the Flag. In this case the 
reverse is true. The Irrawaddy Flotilla Company had pre- 
pared the way for us here. Bhamo had been the northern 
terminus of their steamers since 1869, and for some time 
the Government of India had kept a Resident there to 
protect the trade. But no attempt had been made to 
navigate beyond Bhamo. 

In December, 1885, a force was sent up by river to 
occupy the town, and an officer of the Burma Commission, 
Captain Cooke, accompanied it, and began to establish a 
civil administration. No opposition was met with. The 
population of the town was not in a position to resist 
us. Mixed with the indigenous Burmans and Shans was 
a considerable colony of Chinese traders some of them 
Cantonese who had filtered up from the coast, others hardy 
and adventurous men from Yunnan, engaged in the jade and 
amber and rubber trades in the northern part of the district. 
These foreigners, although they disliked exceedingly our 
interference with the opium and liquor traffic, and even 
more our attempts in the interests of the troops to improve 
their methods of sanitation, were not actively hostile. The 
peasantry of a mixed Shan-Burman race, who cultivated 
the level country round and below the town, were peace- 
fully inclined, though shy and timorous. But the Kachin 
tribes soon began to show their teeth and to do their best 
to make things unpleasant. The policy laid down from the 
first for the guidance of the local officers in their dealings 
with the Kachins was one of patience and conciliation. 
Perhaps too much stress was laid on this. In one case, 
certainly, the Deputy Commissioner's anxiety to adhere to 
this policy was carried to an extreme, and caused mischief. 

It will be convenient to take the northern portion of the 
district first that part, namely, which begins from 24 37' 
N. and goes right up to the Chinese boundary. It now 
forms a separate charge, known as the Myitkyina, district, 


but at the time we are writing of, was the Mogaung sub- 
division of the Bhamo district, and contained about 10,000 
square miles of country, of which two -thirds were, and still 
are, forest. The level and valley lands along the Irrawaddy 
and its tributaries, mostly on the right bank, are fertile, 
yielding rice as the main crop ; but even now, after twenty 
years of peace, the area cultivated is very small. It is given 
in the Burma Gazetteer (vol. ii., p. 123) as twenty-eight 
square miles. The area in the hills tilled, after a primitive 
method, has not been estimated, but as there are between 
twenty and thirty thousand Kachins who live on its produce, 
it is probably larger. 

Of the wide forest area, part is in the low hill ranges, 
part in the plains. Twenty- five years ago, when there was 
not a road, the dense undergrowth and bamboo jungle, and 
in the lower lands the wide seas of elephant-grass, made the 
passage of men and transport animals most difficult and 

From a fiscal point of view Mogaung was supposed to 
be the most important part of the Bhamo district. The 
collection of a royalty on jade was farmed in the King's time 
for about Es. 50,000, and there was also an income from 
the rubber-trees, mostly wild, but to a small extent culti- 

In March, 1886, a force accompanied by Captain Cooke, 
the Deputy Commissioner, made its way to Mogaung. The 
Deputy Commissioner reported that the " country was then, 
for the most part, brought under control and settled 
administration." This was a figurative and official way 
of saying that a person of local influence, by name Maung 
Kala, had been recognized and put in charge as a magistrate 
in the British service. 

After a very brief visit the Deputy Commissioner with 
the troops went back to Bhamo, and left Maung Kala to 
carry on the government as he best could, without police 
and with no military support nearer than Bhamo, which is 
at the least 150 miles from Mogaung, whether the journey 
is made by water or land. Even a handful of troops, 
lightly equipped, could not have been sent up in less than 
a fortnight. There was no telegraph to Mogaung. Maung 
Kala belonged to a family of great local influence, which had 


held office for several generations, and was reputed to be 
of Chinese descent. But whatever his influence, he was 
sure to make enemies in his endeavours to keep order and 
to collect revenues, and there was no visible force behind 
him. His reign was short, and he was soon assassinated.* 

A Burman official was sent up from Bhamo by the 
Deputy Commissioner to succeed the murdered man. He 
soon found that he was not wanted at Mogaung and he 
retired to Sinbo, whence he could at least make a show of 
controlling the river-side villages. Po Saw, the son of 
Maung Kala, was then appointed by the people to his 
father's post, and whatever order or show of government 
there was in the country was due to him. Subsequently, 
in consequence of his having summarily executed a pre- 
tender who had endeavoured to impose himself on the 
people, the Deputy Commissioner recognised Po Saw's 
authority and withdrew the Burman. Nevertheless, it 
cannot be said that the British Government had juris- 
diction in Mogaung. No revenue was collected at least, 
none was paid into the Bhamo treasury. In this respect, 
however, Mogaung was little worse than the southern 
portion of the district which was administered by the 
Deputy Commissioner himself, supported by the garrison 
at Bhamo. In September, 1886, Major Cooke reported : 
" This district has, I believe, been one of the quietest 
districts in Upper Burma. The tranquillity of the district 
is in a great measure due to the fact that no real attempt 
was made to collect the revenue until July or August." 
Even the tranquillity so purchased was, however, only 
comparative, and the soldiers had quite enough to do. In 
the open season of 1886-7 it was not found possible to give 
men for an effective expedition to the north. Things had 

* A lesson enforced by many examples in Upper Burma was that 
until a country in the process of annexation can be held permanently, 
it is useless and sometimes cruel to occupy it and leave it after a time. 
The following is taken from a report on the Ava district : " Myotha is 
a large village which had previously welcomed and aided British detach- 
ments, and had as a consequence been plundered by the rebels on their 
departure. Most of the inhabitants were in hiding in the jungles ; they 
came in on hearing of the arrival of the troops, but were much distressed 
at their leaving." 


to be allowed to take their own course for the time. The 
Administration had no choice. 

Early in 1887, however, the military police began to 
arrive from India, and in the spring of that year five 
companies, mainly Gurkhas, under the command of Lieu- 
tenant O'Donnell, were posted to Bhamo. This strengthened 
the hands of the civil administration. It was then too late 
to start an expedition to Mogaung. But Lieutenant 
O'Donnell was sent up to Sinbo, a village of some 
importance on the right bank of the Irrawaddy, just 
above the first defile. Here a strong stockade was built and 
a Gurkha garrison posted in it. An Assistant Commis- 
sioner also, Mr. Twomey, was sent to watch the course of 
events in the north. 

There were three routes by which Mogaung could be 
reached from Bhamo. One was by going up the Irrawaddy 
and turning into the Mogaung River, on which lies the town. 
This was quite possible for a very small force which had 
not to carry all its supplies and transport. The object, 
however, was not merely to reach Mogaung, but to go to 
the jade-mines and explore the country. Since an explorer 
(Lieutenant Bayfield) made his way to the mines in 1838, 
no European had visited them. Nothing was accurately 
known of the nature of the country, of the supplies it 
afforded, or of the numbers and temper of the Kachin tribes 
which dominated it. All that could be gathered from the 
Chinese and others showed that there would be much 
difficulty in all these matters. It was suspected that the 
Chinese were disposed to magnify the difficulties. Never- 
theless it was necessary that the force should be prepared 
for all emergencies, and should be in every respect self- 
sufficing. Hence the river route was considered im- 

Another way was to land the force at Katha and march 
up through Mohnyin. Our knowledge of the route between 
Mohnyin and Mogaung also was imperfect. It was not 
under our control, and a force passing up would have 
to take everything with it. The third route was by the 
left bank of the Irrawaddy. It had this advantage, that 
although the marching would be difficult, boats could 
follow the force up the river, could meet it at fixed 


points, and could carry a large quantity of the supplies, 
certainly as far as Sinbo and probably in the smaller craft 
as far as Mogaung. After much consideration it was 
decided to send the expedition by this route. A fortified 
post was to be established at Mogaung, to be held by 
the military police, to serve as a base for the advance of the 
force to the jade-mines and other parts. 

Much care was given to the composition and equiqment 
of the force * by the General commanding in Upper 
Burma, Sir George White. It was necessary that it 
should be prepared for all emergencies; that it should 
carry with it supplies for the whole time of its absence 
from Bhamo ; that it should be able to move, as occasion 
required, either by land or water, and be ready to make 
its own roads and bridges. It must be strong enough 
to fight its own way and repel attacks ; and at the same 
time the numbers of the force were limited by the 
necessity of carrying its own food and of keeping the 
transport train from becoming too large. 

The Chief Commissioner selected Major Adamson, the 
Deputy Commissioner at Bhamo, to go with the force. 
To him was entrusted the task of dealing with the 
Kachins and of establishing the authority of the British 
Government. He had served for thirteen years in Lower 
Burma, and was known as one of the best officers in the 
Commission. He fully justified the confidence placed in him. 

Some time before the expedition started, Major Adam- 
son summoned Po Saw from Mogaung to meet him at 
Sinbo. He came accompanied by many of the chief Shan 
residents and Chinese merchants. He promised to obey 
the Deputy Commissioner's orders. The Deputy Com- 
missioner then formally appointed him to be magistrate 
of Mogaung in his father's room and from the date of 
his father's death, and paid him a large sum as arrears 
of salary. He was then dismissed, with orders to clear 
the roads of jungle and collect supplies for the troops. 
He was instructed also to summon all the Kachin 
chiefs connected with the jade-mines to meet the repre- 

* Vide a short account of the expedition to the jade mines by Major 
C. H. E. Adamson, C.I.E., Deputy Commissioner of Bhamo (J. Bell & Co., 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1889). 


sentatives of the British Government at Mogaung. All 
this Po Saw readily promised to perform. Major Adainson 
went back to Bhamo well pleased with his willingness to 
help and believing in the loyalty of his intentions. 

All preparations having been completed, the expedition 
marched from Bhamo on the 27th, by the north gate of 
the town. It was for these parts an unusually large and 
well-found force, and impressed the townspeople who 
crowded to witness its departure. It consisted of the 
following troops : Cheshire Kegiment, 50 rifles, under 
Captain Armstrong ; Kelati-Ghilzai Regiment, 101 rifles, 
under Lieutenant Morton ; Mounted Infantry, 25 rifles ; 
Bhamo Military Police (Gurkhas), 500 rifles, under Lieu- 
tenant O'Donnell;* Mountain Battery (Bengal), 2 guns, 
under Captain Triscott, t R.A. Captain Clements was in 
charge of the commissariat. 

The land transport consisted of 350 pack-mules with 
drivers and two elephants, who were sent back after a 
few marches, as they proved to be useless. A fleet of 
three steam launches and thirty-three large country 
boats, with supplies, was sent up by river, with a force of 
sixty-six Native Infantry, under a native officer, on the 

Captain Triscott, R.A., with Lieutenant Williams, R.A., 
as his staff officer, was in command of the whole force. 

A Roman Catholic missionary who spoke Shan and 
Kachin accompanied the expedition as interpreter. A 
survey party to map the country, a forest officer to 
report on the forests, and Mr. Warry, the Chinese adviser 
to the Chief Commissioner, made the staff complete. 

The march up the left bank of the Irrawaddy was 
difficult. There were two considerable streams, the 
Taeping and the Mole, affluents of the Irrawaddy, to be 
crossed in the first few marches. These rivers, however, 
caused comparatively little delay. The track kept as 
near as possible to the course of the Irrawaddy. Sometimes 
it crept along close to the river-bank, across numerous 

* Colonel Hugh O'Donnell, D.S.O. He raised the Mogaung Levy, 
and served all through the Burma business, 1886-91, and did excellent 

f Colonel Charles Prideaux Triscott, R.A., C.B., D.S.O. 


spurs separated by small streams flowing into the main 
river. The ascents and descents were very steep, and to 
make them passable for laden animals much jungle- 
cutting and road-making had to be done. Sometimes the 
gradients were so steep as to necessitate the cutting of 
zigzag paths. At times the animals had to be taken 
up the steep banks and into the forests in order to find 
a road. 

On the 2nd of January the camping-ground was on a 
sandy spit by the river-bank, at a village called Nanti. 
Here the steam-launches and the thirty-three boats met 
the land columns. On the 4th the march lay along the 
side of the first defile, where the river flows between rocky 
banks. The laden animals found easier going here, as 
there was no rank vegetation ; but it was slow work, as 
paths had to be cut for them on the steep sides of the 
beds of dry streams which had frequently to be crossed. 
On the 4th, after leaving the defile behind, the force 
debouched on sandy level ground close to the stream, and 
halted at the village of Manhe, where the column had to 
cross the Irrawaddy. The headman of Sinbo, with some 
fourscore men and half as many boats which he had brought 
down by the Deputy Commissioner's orders, to help in the 
work, was waiting. Next day was devoted to the crossing. 
At 7 a.m. it began, and by half-past 3 p.m. the last man 
was landed on the right bank. 

The Irrawaddy at this place and at this time of the 
year is three hundred yards wide, with a current of about 
two miles an hour. The formation of the river-bed, 
the broad sloping banks of sand and gravel, and at places 
the depth of water close to the side, made the work simple 
enough, however laborious. The two launches could come 
alongside the bank, and the artillery and infantry, with 
arms and ammunition, were taken over in them. Then 
came the baggage animals, who were made to swim the 
river in batches of four or five at a time. A canoe, with 
one Burman boatman in the bow, was drawn up alongside 
the bank, with the bow against the stream. Then four 
or five men, each leading an animal, passed round to the 
stern of the boat and seated themselves in the canoe 
holding the animals by their leading-ropes. As soon as 



they were seated a second boatman took his stand in the 
stern. The bow was shoved off and the canoe punted 
across the river by the two boatmen. Thus the animals 
were swimming up-stream astern of the canoe, and were 
not in danger of being forced by the current against it. 
Three hundred and fifty animals swam the river in this 
manner, and not one was drowned or hurt. 

The column was now on the right bank of the Irrawaddy. 
The next march brought them to Sinbo, where a garrison 
of military police was already established in a stockade, 
near to which a large camping-ground had been cleared for 
the troops. Supplies from Bhamo had been landed and 
stored, and the commissariat staff was busied in arranging 
for their transport to Mogaung. The fleet had also arrived 
before the column. The launches being unable, owing 
to the shallowness of the river, to get up beyond Sinbo, 
were sent back to Bhamo. 

The next two marches, partly through forests partly 
across plains cropped here and there with rice, brought the 
force to the bank of the Mogaung stream. The water 
was deep and the current ran very strong. The crossing 
of this little river gave more trouble than the passage of 
the Irrawaddy. For Po Saw's promises proved false. He 
had made no preparations and sent down neither men nor 
boats. However, three or four boats were found at a 
village higher up the stream. Teak logs were lying about. 
Rafts were made ; and the guns and commissariat stores 
taken over. There were not enough boats to tow the large 
number of pack-animals across. Mules and ponies were 
driven into the water in herds and forced to make their 
way to the other bank, which unluckily was very steep 
with a muddy bottom. Nevertheless they all got over 
except one, but many were very spent and were brought up 
the bank with difficulty. 

The road now lay on the left, or east, bank of the river, 
and entered a country of which nothing was known. 
It was dominated by the Kachin chief of the neighbouring 
hills, from whom the inhabitants had to purchase pro- 
tection in plain English, immunity, to some small extent, 
from murder and robbery. As they had been forced at 
the same time to pay taxes to the Burmese officials, 


they had suffered much, and many of the villages were 

The failure of Po Saw to carry out Major Adamson's 
instructions gave rise to some anxiety. Treachery was 
feared, and precautions were taken against surprise. The 
road was now in parts very difficult, over steep forest- 
covered hills running down close to the Mogaung River, 
and intersected by many steep ravines. Progress was slow, 
as the way had to be cleared of bamboo and other under- 
growth before the pack-animals could pass. In places on 
reaching the proposed halting-place it was found to be a 
small, confined spot, and the ground had to be cleared before 
the camp could be pitched. A party of Chinese Shans on 
their way to Mogaung joined the camp at night, and were 
engaged to accompany the force and help to clear the road, 
for which they were well paid. 

After some sixteen miles of difficult ground, which was 
covered in two marches, the column struck the river 
again near Tapaw. Here the headman advised Major 
Adamson to cross to the right bank again, as the land 
road to Mogaung was only five or six miles, whereas the 
river made a detour of double that distance, first going 
north and then coming back to the south-east. There 
were no boats to be had here. After some consideration 
Captain Triscott and Major Adamson decided that it was 
advisable to send to Mogaung and summon Po Saw. They 
had heard from a Kachin Sawbwa whom they met on the 
road that the Chinaman who farmed the jade-mine revenue 
had been murdered, and they were now told at Tapaw 
that an Englishman had passed down-stream in urgent 

Here we must go back to Mr. Warry's movements. It 
has been said above that Mr. Warry, the adviser on Chinese 
affairs, had been appointed to go with the expedition. He 
belonged to the Chinese Consular Service, spoke Chinese 
well, and understood that difficult people as well as an 
Englishman can. He was on most friendly terms with 
the Chinese in Burma, and could trust himself to them 
without fear. It appears that instead of marching with 
Major Adamson, as it was intended, he had gone by himself 
with some Chinamen by the river. When the expedition 


arrived at Sinbo it was found that Warry had gone on in 
his boat, meaning to travel up the Mogaung stream. His 
attempt to go ahead of the expedition, if that had been 
his purpose, was foiled by the refusal of his Chinamen to 
attempt the ascent of the Mogaung until they had learnt 
that the column had preceded them. 

Hence on the 12th of January he was in his boat on 
the Mogaung, some seven or eight miles in rear of the 
marching column, when he met Mr. Bimmer, a commander 
in the Irrawaddy flotilla's service, coming down the stream 
as fast as his men could paddle. Eimmer had in his boat 
a Chinaman very badly wounded in the head. It was Lon 
Pein, who had been at one time the farmer of the jade- 
mine taxes under the King's Government. Eimmer 's story 
was that he had pushed on to the town of Mogaung alone, 
for the purpose of examining the water-way. He reached 
the town on the 19th of January, and having accomplished 
his object was about to return at once when Lon Pein 
came to him and told him that he feared an attack by Po 
Saw's men, who sought his life. He implored Eimmer to 
stay and help to defend him until the troops should arrive. 
The people of the town appeared to be friendly enough. 
But believing that Lon Pein's life was in danger, he chival- 
rously agreed to stay. He took up his quarters in the 
Chinaman's house, and they made ready in such manner 
as they could to resist an attack. Eimmer was armed with 
a rifle, and Lon Pein, it may be presumed, had fire-arms of 
some sort. They had not long to wait. 

At midnight of the 10th a body of ruffians besieged the 
house with more vigour even than the police led by the 
Home Secretary against the house in Sidney Street. The 
house was of the kind usual in the country, raised on piles 
with a floor none too closely fitted. The assailants got 
underneath and fired through the floor, and thrust spears 
wherever they could find an opening. Early in the fight 
Lon Pein fell wounded in the head, and never recovered 
consciousness. Eimmer's rifle was shot in two, and his 
knee was grazed by a ball. However, he continued to hold 
out until dawn, when the assailants made off. Next day 
he managed to find his boat and, with the assistance of 
some town's-people, to carry Lon Pein to it. The inhabi- 


tants expressed their sympathy and regret, but did not 
explain their failure to help him. Po Saw, it appeared, had 
left Mogaung the day before, but Bimmer believed that 
Lon Pein had good cause for holding him responsible for 
the attack. 

Warry persuaded Bimmer to return with him to the 
protection of the troops, and they joined the column on 
the 13th, before it left Tapaw, and entered Mogaung with 
it on the 14th of January. Evidently there was mischief 
on foot. The leaders of the expedition, on hearing the 
story, decided that before advancing further it would be 
wise to make Po Saw show his hand. The difficulty was 
to get a trustworthy man to carry a message to Mogaung. 
There was a Mussulman, a native of India, who had come 
up as an interpreter, with the force, Safdar Ali by name. 
He might have been a descendant of Sinbad the Sailor, for 
he had led a life of travel and adventure. He had traded 
in jade, and was familiar with many parts of the country. 
He spoke Burmese, Shan, and Kachin, in addition to his 
native Hindustani, and he had taken wives of the daughters 
of Heth in most of the bigger places. In consequence, or 
in spite, of these alliances he was on good terms with the 
people about, and could obtain intelligence of local affairs. 
Safdar Ali volunteered to take a letter to Po Saw, and with 
a native to show him the shortest road, he departed. 

Meanwhile Captain Triscott and Major Adamson, with 
some Mounted Infantry, had gone out to examine the track, 
and found that for four or five miles it crossed a rice plain 
cut up by numerous muddy ditches which the baggage 
animals could not get over. Beyond this rice-ground rose 
some hills, at the foot of which was a morass, which the 
column would find very difficult to pass. They turned 
back to the camp, therefore, to collect labour to make the 
road passable. Safdar Ali, on his way back from Mogaung, 
overtook them, and reported that Po Saw had disappeared 
after the Chinaman's murder, and had gone, it was said, 
to raise the Kachins nearest to Mogaung. This was not 
cheering news, as Po Saw's influence with the Kachins had 
been relied upon as the means of establishing peaceable 
relations with them. 

However, the other officials of the town had been helpful ; 


boats had been sent down to Tapaw, and before the day 
ended, the naJcan, or deputy magistrate, attended by the 
Kyaung Tagas and Payatagas (builders of monasteries and 
pagodas), arrived to pay their respects. They were repri- 
manded by Major Adamson for their neglect, and were 
directed to take steps at once to make the road passable. 
The poor men were evidently in fear and trembling, dread- 
ing the vengeance of Po Saw on the one hand and the 
wrath of the British Government on the other. However, 
the march next day was made without great difficulty : the 
ditches were filled up or bridged. The swamp proved a 
greater obstacle. Luckily there was an abundance of 
elephant-grass hard by. This was cut, and being spread 
thickly on the surface of the swamp, made a passable 

After climbing the hill, the pagodas and monasteries 
of Mogaung became visible ; and when the level ground 
round the town was reached, a number of the chief people 
were seen, who had come out to meet the British force 
and make their submission. On reaching the gates a con- 
ference was held with these, while the town was recon- 
noitred by the soldiers for a suitable camping-place. 

The burgesses were evidently suffering from great fears. 
They dreaded the Kachins, to raise whom was the design 
of Po Saw. Under these circumstances it comforted them 
to learn that the British had come to stay, and that their 
town would not be left again without an English officer 
and a sufficient garrison. Major Adamson then proclaimed 
the offer of a reward of 1,000 rupees for the discovery and 
arrest of the murderer of Lon Pein, the Chinaman. He 
told them to have no fear of the British soldiers, and 
assured them that if the Myo-6k Po Saw would return to 
his duty even now, he would be forgiven and restored to 
office. By this time, a good site having been found on a 
sand-bank at the upper end of the town, the whole column 
marched through the main street, that all might see its 
strength, and established the camp there. 

Mogaung* was once the capital of a considerable Shan 
principality. In 1888 it could count only about three 

* Present population something under 3,000. The Myit Kyina Bail- 
way has a station at Mogaung. 


hundred houses. Standing on the bank at the confluence 
of two streams, it is washed by water on two sides. On 
the other two sides it was defended by a teak palisade in 
bad repair. The town is well planned, being, like Kangoon 
and Mandalay, laid out in squares, with brick-paved roads 
at right angles to each other, one main road, likewise paved, 
running through the middle. Many pagodas, substantial 
structures of brick, and large and handsome monasteries 
of teak, ornament the inside of the town and also the 
spaces outside the walls. A Buddhist bishop, with jurisdic- 
tion over the whole of the north part of the Bhamo district, 
had his seat at Mogaung in 1887-8. 

In the centre of the town were some very good houses 
belonging to the wealthier residents, and at the upper end 
the Chinese who formed, as they do now, a large and 
important class of the inhabitants had their quarters and 
their temple. Most of the trade in jade and rubber was 
in their hands, and their houses were as uncleanly here 
as in other towns of Burma. One of their chief employ- 
ments was the manufacture of arrack, which they sold to 
the town's-people. The shops in their quarter reeked of 
it. Whatever the Indian Temperance Society may think, 
we cannot be accused of introducing alcohol or the vice 
of drunkenness into these regions. Orders were at once 
issued against selling liquor to the British soldiers. These 
orders were treated with indifference until a Chinaman was 
caught in the act. He was promptly flogged, and there 
were no more cases of the kind. Another race found at 
Mogaung was the cross-breeds between Chinese and Shans. 
"We noticed," says Major Adamson (short account, p. 27), 
" very many Chinese Shans. . . . They are strange, wild- 
looking people, as a rule rather short in size, but often 
strong and wiry. They are invariably dressed in a blue 
cotton jacket and loose blue Chinese trousers, and they 
wear their hair in a sort of long tail behind, more or less 
after the fashion of Chinese. They are each armed with 
a long sword, and as a rule each carries a bag, in which 
he keeps his eating utensils, food, and blanket. 

In the river in front of Mogaung is an island, where 
the boats which bring jade and rubber from the north, 
and all sorts of miscellaneous merchandise from Bhamo, 


were moored. A small bamboo bridge gave connection with 
the mainland. " The island is looked upon as a place 
of safety in the event of the Kachins attacking the town. 
Many of the villagers keep their valuables in boats for 
protection, and some women and children go nightly to 
sleep in the boats, where they consider they are safer than 
in their houses (ibid., p. 28). 

It was Major Adamson's duty to get into touch with 
the people, and procure the necessary intelligence con- 
cerning local politics and conditions. There was a man of 
influence in the town called Shwe Gya, who had been 
appointed by Major Cooke to be the nakan, or deputy, 
when Maung Kala was recognized as Myo-6k. He could 
not get on with Po Saw when that person succeeded to 
power, and retired into private life. Shwe Gya was a man 
of some note and of strong individuality. He was a cross- 
breed between a Kachin father and an Assamese mother. 
But he had adopted the dress, habits, and religion of the 
Burmese Shans. He had been a soldier at one time, and 
understood Kachin tactics well. Being able to appreciate 
the power of the English, he threw in his lot with them. 
This man Major Adamson took into his confidence, and 
found him most useful and most loyal. 

It was necessary for Adamson to be open to all comers 
and at all times. As this was not possible within the camp, 
he moved his quarters to a rest-house in the town, taking 
a small British guard for his protection. On Sunday, the 
15th, his mind was relieved by learning that Po Saw 
had returned. A Durbar was arranged, to which all the 
notables were summoned. The officers of the force being 
present, Major Adamson received Po Saw formally, and 
after explaining the objects of the expedition and the 
general policy of the British Government, namely the 
establishment of peace and the encouragement of trade, 
he censured the Myo-6k for his conduct, and called on him 
to explain it. Po Saw alleged that fear of being called 
to account for Lon Pern's murder had been the reason 
of his flight. Major Adamson accepted the excuse, and 
restored him to office. At the same time he assured the 
people that no one should be prosecuted for offences against 
the British Government committed before the arrival of 


the expedition, except those who had been parties to the 
murder of the Chinaman. 

O'Donnell and his police, who had fallen behind the 
column owing to the boats with their supplies having been 
delayed, had now arrived, and the work of building a 
fort for their occupation was begun. A site was chosen 
on a piece of ground in the middle of the town, bounded 
on one side by the river, of which the banks were very 
steep and formed a natural defence, leaving the other 
sides to be protected by palisades. 

The mornings now were very cold and foggy, the ther- 
mometer falling to 45 or 50. About nine o'clock the fog 
cleared off, and the climate was delightful. The soldiers 
were naturally eager to move. They were eating up their 
stores, and if the Kachins meant mischief the less time 
they had to prepare it, the better. A council of war was 
held. Major Adamson wished to wait until the Kachins 
had had time to arrive. His instructions were to avoid 
hostilities with the Kachin chiefs if possible. Po Saw had 
not summoned them to meet him as he had been ordered ; 
the letters from the British Representative were only now 
reaching them. The Chinese, through Mr. Warry, also 
strongly urged delay. Moreover, nothing was yet known 
about the road to the jade-mines; and as it was found 
that, contrary to expectation, paddy for the transport 
animals could be procured from the villages in the neigh- 
bourhood, the arguments against delay lost some of their 
force. The council decided, after discussion, to halt for ten 

During the next few days the chief work was the col- 
lection of materials for the fort and its construction, which 
was rapidly pushed on by Captain O'Donnell. Houses were 
also put in hand for the officers who were to remain in 
Mogaung, namely the Commandant of military police, 
the Assistant Commissioner, and a surgeon. Surveys were 
made of the neighbouring country, information about the 
roads and villages collected, and in short every preparation 
made for the advance. 

On the 22nd of January, Shwe Gya reported to Major 
Adamson that the Myo-6k Po Saw had disappeared once 
more. His conduct since his reinstatement had not been 


good. It was decided to capture him if possible, and keep 
him a prisoner. He was reported to be in a village about 
five miles away. Taking fifty men and some mounted 
police, under the command of Captain Armstrong, of the 
Cheshire Kegiment, Adamson descended on the village, 
surrounded it, and searched every house. There was no 
trace of Po Saw ; but a man known to be in his service, 
and another who was recognized to be Bo Ti, his right- 
hand man, were made prisoners. 

The final disappearance of Po Saw upset Major Adam- 
son's plans. It was idle to expect that the influential 
Kachin chiefs would now come in. It was necessary to 
appoint a man to carry on the duties of the Myo-6k. Shwe 
Gya was the best man, but he was not a Shan and the 
people would not have accepted him. With the consent 
of the townsfolk another member of Maung Kala's family 
was chosen and placed in authority, with Shwe Gya as 
the deputy and real working man. All this was done in 
public, and explained to the people. At this time some 
letters of a friendly tone came in, with presents from some 
Kachin chiefs whose hills were on the road to the jade- 

The time had come now for an advance. The fort was 
ready for occupation, and was defended by a substantial 
bamboo palisade, Captain O'Donnell, with all his police 
except a detachment of seventy-five, who formed part of 
the expeditionary force, were left to garrison it. Mr. 
Twomey, Assistant Commissioner, was placed in adminis- 
trative charge, and orders were left for the despatch of Bo 
Ti and the other prisoner to Bhamo. On the 26th of 
January the march began. The troops forming the column 
under Captain Triscott's command were : 

Khelati Ghilzai Kegiment 100 rifles 

Gurkha Military Police 75 

Cheshire Regiment ... ... ... 50 ,, 

Bengal Mountain Battery ... ... 2 guns. 

A field-hospital, under Surgeon-Major Barren, and a train 
of transport animals with provisions and commissariat 
stores for seven days, completed his equipment. Mr. Warry, 


a survey party, a forest officer, the Eoman Catholic priest 
who acted as interpreter, Safdar AH, and the new Myo-6k, 
Poh Myah, with Shwe Gya, the deputy, and some armed 
followers, accompanied Major Adamson. Supplies were 
forwarded up by river to Kamaing, the first principal 
halting-place, thirty-three miles from Mogaung. 

Before the force left a reconnoitring party had been sent 
up to Kamaing, and had reported the road to be very 
difficult. The report was not found to be exaggerated. 
Marching through elephant-grass and thick forest, which 
hid everything except the immediate neighbourhood, a 
hardly visible path, obstructed often by huge fallen trees ; 
camping-grounds which had to be laboriously cleared of 
elephant-grass * and undergrowth, before standing-room 
could be found for the animals or resting-place for the men, 
with sometimes heavy rain which drenched every one, 
made the march anything but pleasant. All hardships, 
however, were borne with cheerfulness ; and as the country 
was new and unexplored, and there was a chance of a fight 
at any time, the men were full of spirit. They and their 
officers were true soldiers. 

On the 30th the stream on the opposite bank of which 
lay Kamaing was reached. It ran deep, and the banks 
were precipitous. Fortunately, it was only about the width 
of a cricket pitch. Trees were felled and elephant-grass 
cut, and with the aid of a big trunk found sticking up in 
the bed of the river, a bridge was made, over which the 
whole force, laden animals and all, safely crossed. " Kama- 
ing," writes Major Adamson, " is splendidly situated on a small 
hill, close to the river, at the point where its two main 
branches unite, the larger branch, the Nampoung, coming 
from the Indawgyi Lake in the south-west" (ibid., p. 40). 
It had been a flourishing town, as the still remaining 
monasteries and pagodas proved. These religious build- 
ings were, however, deserted, the last monk having died a 
year before. Of the whole town only a few houses remained. 
The place had shared the fate of all this country in the 
Kachin rebellion of 1883. There were still a few shops, 
however, where Manchester goods could be bought, and 

* At some places the grass had to be trodden down by marching the 
men backwards and forwards. 


articles of food for daily use were to be had. Country 
spirits and opium were also on sale. 

Here letters came in from the two brothers who ruled 
the hills in which the jade-mines are situated. They were 
called Kansi Naung and Kansi Hla. Their tone was 
friendly, though they wrote with the hope of preventing 
the advance of our people from Mogaung. Answers were 
sent by mounted messengers, saying that the force was 
already at Kamaing and would continue its march next 
day, and assuring the Sawbwas of our peacable intentions. 

Starting from Kamaing on the 31st of January, the bank 
of the Indaw River was reached after some of the most 
difficult marches made during the expedition. The path 
was passable for men but not for a long line of laden 
animals. It was very swampy, with tall elephant-grass on 
each side, which had been set on fire to make the track 
passable. The men had to force their way through the 
charred stalks, and as there was a heavy fog at the time 
" the faces and clothes of the whole column were speedily 
as black as if they had been down a coal-mine." (Short 
account, p. 36.) For some distance every yard of the road 
had to be made by cutting down the tall, coarse grass and 
spreading it on the surface of the swamp until it would bear 
the weight of the animals. So they made their way, always 
through the tall grass, until the Indaw Kiver was struck. 
Here it was decided to form a defensible camp, in which all 
superfluous animals, stores, and tents should be left, with a 
sufficient garrison to guard them, while the main body 
pushed on to the jade-mines. After their experience of the 
country, it was held to be dangerous to move with the whole 
train if there was any likelihood of fighting. Two days 
were occupied in preparing this camp, in getting some 
portion of the road cleared in advance, and in holding 
communication with a neighbouring Kachin Sawbwa. 

On the 3rd of February the reduced column, in light 
fighting order, left Kamaing with seven days' provisions, 
loaded on some hundred and twenty-five mules. Each man 
carried two days' rations besides. Everything that could 
be done without, including tents, was left in the camp. 
It was as well, for the road continued difficult, and every 
bit of ground at the halting-places for the night had to be 


** i 

I ** /iffilKTILA 

) A \ 


cleared. The inarch was sometimes in the bed of a stream 
sometimes through dense cane jungle growing in swamp. 
Hard work in deep mud, from which all sorts of noxious 
vapours rose, caused the men to sweat profusely, and 
exhausted the animals. Fortunately, through the medium 
of Shwe Gya, Major Adamson persuaded some of the 
Kachin villagers to approach him, and their services were 
hired for road clearing. 

On the 6th messengers from the jade-mine Sawbwas, 
Kansi Naung and Kansi Hla, were met, carrying letters for 
the Deputy Commissioner. The letters were quite friendly 
in tone, and invited the British force to halt on the bank 
of the Uyu Eiver, where there were grass and water in plenty. 
Major Adamson was much relieved to get this communica- 
tion, as it seemed to give promise of a peaceable visit to the 

The road ascended now through forest and thick bamboo 
undergrowth, and was very fatiguing. For the first time 
men were met carrying down loads of jade stone. The 
watershed between the Chindwin and the Irrawaddy was 
crossed, and the road then descended into an open plateau, 
out of the dense and dismal forest through which our 
march of seven miles had been. From 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. 
we had been steadily marching, but we had only been able 
to accomplish seven miles. Heavy rain fell that night 
and turned the camping-ground into a bog, and made the 
road for next day (February 6th) very heavy. The mud 
and water reached to the bellies of the mules, and in places 
the column was forced to leave the path and cut a new way 
through the forest. The Namthein, an affluent of the Uyu, 
had to be crossed several times, the water being up to a 
man's knee and the bed of the stream 50 yards broad. 

At midday the weary force encamped on a tongue of land 
at the junction of the Namthein and Uyu Eivers. The camp 
was on a lovely spot. It faced southwards, and commanded 
a view of the junction of the two streams. On the right 
was the Uyu, a beautiful stream of from 75 to 100 yards 
from bank to bank, " as clear as crystal, and alive with fish, 
which kept rising to the surface in the evening, like trout 
in an English stream. The bed was generally rocky, full 
of large water- worn boulders ; but for a short distance above 


our camp there was a very deep pool under the opposite 
bank, while the shore on our side was sandy and gravelly, 
and sloped very gradually towards the deep part. . . . The 
spot which we selected for a camp was a beautiful tri- 
angular piece of ground, covered with short grass and a 
few bushes on the northern portion, and with a long tongue 
of shingle and sand stretching southwards to the place 
where the streams met." 

In this pleasant place came a further letter to the 
leaders of the expedition from Kansi Naung, saying that 
he had given orders that the English should be treated well, 
and promising to come himself with presents. 

Next day, however, brought only disappointment. A 
letter came from Kansi Naung saying that illness pre- 
vented him from keeping his promise. Other signs indi- 
cated that all was not right, and Shwe Gya, who had been 
hopeful hitherto, lost heart. The military leaders were for 
good reasons in favour of immediate action. Major Adam- 
son, however, took the responsibility of giving Kansi Naung 
more time, and wrote to him peremptorily, saying that they 
could not wait, and that he must come in. On the 8th of 
February news came that Kansi Naung was at a village 
on the opposite side of the river, not a mile off. Shwe Gya 
was asked to go across to see him. But he declined, saying 
that he knew Kachins were on his track to murder him.* 
From two men who came across from the Sawbwa's camp, 
one of whom Major Adamson had met in Mogaung, it was 
learnt that emissaries from Po Saw had arrived, and were 
urging the Kachin chief not to visit the British. 

The right course was now clear. Adamson told the men 
publicly to go back to Kansi Naung and tell him that if 
he did not appear before ten o'clock next day the column 
would advance to the jade-mines by force if necessary. 
Later in the day the polyglot and polygamous interpreter, 
Safdar Ali, volunteered to go to the Kachin camp to see if 
he could influence the Kachins, or at any rate find out what 
was in their minds. His offer was accepted. At the same 
time all was made ready for a fight. Next day (February 
9th) Safdar Ali returned with a message from Kansi Naung 

* This was not a mere suspicion. He was marked down and assassi- 
nated soon after this (vide p. 264). 


that the Sawbwa would come, but that ten o'clock was too 
early for him. 

Captain Triscott fixed the advancing or attacking force at 
one hundred rifles and one gun; the rest were not more than 
sufficient to defend the camp. The numbers of possible 
enemies might be large, and if the advance was opposed the 
camp also would probably be assailed. By nine o'clock the 
men had fallen in and were waiting for the order to march, 
when a large party appeared on the opposite side of the 
river. The leading man carried a fine pair of elephant 
tusks. It was evidently a friendly visit, and proved to be 
Kansi Naung with twelve other chiefs. The troops drawn 
up for a hostile advance were at once turned into a guard 
of honour. The military and civil leaders sat in chairs in 
front of the hut in which they had sheltered, and the 
Kachin Sawbwas on their arrival were seated on the ground 
in front of them. The tusks were presented and all the 
chiefs made their submission. Major Adamson assured 
them, Shwe Gya interpreting, that the British Government 
would respect their rights in the mines. They were warned 
against listening to Po Saw, who had been dismissed from 
the British service. Presents were given to each of them, 
and they were dismissed. 

On their departure the troops immediately fell in and 
started for the jade-mines, which were reached after an un- 
eventful march on a rough forest path, which rose to an 
altitude of fifteen hundred feet. There was not much to see. 
"A collection of about fifty houses and what appeared to be 
a large quarry, while all over the place were blocks of white 
stone of all sizes, some of which were tinged or streaked 
with green." The main object of the expedition, to obtain 
the submission of the Kachin chiefs and assert the authority 
of the Government and its right to the revenue from the 
mines, had been attained. As no water was to be had, 
and there were no rations for the men, the force, after a 
short rest; marched back to camp. Everything had gone 
well during their absence from the camp. But disquieting 
letters had come from Mogaung, telling of a Kachin assault 
on the stockade. 

It remained now to explore the Indaw country. Taking 
only a small party from the camp, Adamson went in boats 


up the Indaw River to the lake, a very fine piece of water, 
about sixteen miles long from north to south by six broad. 
He found the country round it to be naturally fertile and 
bearing marks of much former prosperity. But it had been 
the scene of the Kachin rebellion of 1883, which had its 
rising here, and here also the rebels had made their last 
stand. It had been devastated with all the ruthlessness 
of an Asiatic conqueror. It bore the marks of recent pros- 
perity and a thick population. Good roads still united the 
ruined villages ; nearly every little stream was crossed by 
solid teak bridges ; sites of old villages still showed gardens 
of mango, jack, tamarind, and other fruit trees growing 
amongst monasteries and pagodas all absolutely deserted, 
amidst great stretches of splendid rice plains showing signs 
of recent cultivation. Yet only one small patch of land, 
about ten acres under tillage, and only in a few places 
some poor huts which, surrounded by double and treble 
stockades, showed the conditions under which the few 
surviving peasants lived. 

It was hoped that with unlimited rice plains, a magni- 
ficent lake swarming with fish, a Government that would 
enforce peace, with open water communications and in 
the near future a railroad, this beautiful country would 
recover prosperity. All that can be said after a generation 
has passed is that "it is only beginning to recover from 
the devastation caused by the Kachin rising of 1883 " 
(Burma Gazetteer, vol ii., p. 120, edit. 1908), So much 
easier is it to destroy than to restore. 

The Indawgyi country being now explored, the party 
rejoined the main body at the Sakaw camp, and the force 
set out on its return march to Mogaung. They had left 
Mogaung on the 27th of January, and had marched for 
four weeks through jungles and marshes most favourable 
to a savage enemy skilled in ambuscade. Yet not a shot 
had been fired. Po Saw, however, had been busy with 
the Kachins. Mogaung had been attacked on the 3rd of 
February, and the report of this had reached Major 
Adamson. They were prepared, therefore, for hostilities, 
and before they reached Mogaung, on the 24th of February, 
they were attacked and lost several men. 

The state of affairs at Mogaung was not very reassuring. 


The people were in much alarm. Women and children 
were sleeping in the boats. The road was unsafe, and com- 
munication with the Irrawaddy was interrupted. The last 
boats, four in number, which left the town with the mails 
and some prisoners under a guard, had been fired on by 
Kachins ; and a boatman and one of the Gurkha police 
were hit. No Chinese boat had ventured up the river for 
three weeks. The resident Chinese were putting their 
temple in order of defence, and every one expected that 
there would be fighting. 

The expeditionary force had, however, to return to Bhamo. 
They had accomplished the work for which they had been 
detached. Major Adamson also was obliged to resume the 
charge of his district, which had been left more or less 
during his absence to a subordinate officer.* Mogaung, 
the town and the subdivision, were placed in the hands 
of Mr. Twomey, the Assistant Commissioner, supported by 
Captain O'Donnell and the military police, who were quite 
able to defend the stockade and the town, but were not 
strong enough to keep the country around in order, if the 
Kachins came down. 

The arrangement was that Captain Triscott should 
march back by the land route through Mohnyin to Katha 
and open up the country which had not been explored. 
It had been intended originally to send a small force up 
from Katha to meet him. This proved impracticable, but 
a party of military police had occupied Mohnyin. Accord- 
ingly the expeditionary force marched back by this route. 
They were opposed several times by bodies of Kachins, who 
had fortified themselves in positions across the road. These 
enemies, however, were easily dislodged by the guns, and 
a junction with the military police was effected at Mohnyin. 
The rest of the return march was made without incident. 

It was hardly to be expected in any case that Major 
Adamson' s expedition should result in the immediate 
establishment of peace in the Mogaung country and in 
placing our relations with the Kachins on a friendly 
footing. To secure the submission of a wild people divided 

* It must be remembered that we had not a spare man in these 
years ; while the overworked civil staff, especially the best of them, 
were often disabled by sickness and compelled to leave. 



into as many tribes as there are hills in their country, and 
to bring them under a civilized system of government, is 
not the work of a few weeks. But it was hoped that more 
than a beginning had been made, and that time and the 
residence of British officers at Mogaung would do the 

Some untoward events had occurred to render this hope 
vain. The conduct of Po Saw in leaving Mogaung and 
taking refuge with the Kachins was the main cause of the 
difficulties which began to be felt early in 1888. If Major 
Adamson had been successful in capturing Po Saw when 
he made Bo Ti a prisoner, and if Bo Ti had been securely 
detained, much of the trouble which followed during the 
subsequent years 1888 and 1889, and even later, would have 
been avoided. Unfortunately the advantage accruing from 
Bo Ti's capture was soon to be lost. He was sent down 
to Bhamo and confined in the jail there. The jail, like 
other buildings in Upper Burma, was made of wood. It 
had a stout teak palisade round it, secure enough if the 
guard had been trustworthy. It happened that just at 
that time an attempt had been made to assassinate the 
Colonel commanding in Bhamo. While he was dressing 
for mess his body-servant crept up behind him as he stood 
at the glass and stabbed him in the back. The servant, 
a native of India, was arrested at once and locked up, 
pending trial, in the same jail with Bo Ti. These two 
conspired to escape. They scooped away the ground from 
the base of some of the big teak posts which formed the 
palisade and contrived to loosen them. The guard being 
either asleep or in collusion with them, they got away. 

Bo Ti soon made his escape felt by our people at 
Mogaung. He joined Po Saw somewhere in the Kachin 
Hills, probably at Thama, and helped to raise the tribes. 
The influence of both these men over the Kachins was 
very great. In Po Saw's case it was probably more here- 
ditary than personal. He was descended from the former 
ruling family, and with the Kachins as well as with the 
Burmans a drop of royal blood counts for much. Per- 
sonally Po Saw seems to have been a treacherous and 
cowardly character. Bo Ti, on the contrary, was a bold 
leader and had some military capacity. The two together 


were powerful for mischief ; and it would have saved much 
hard work to our men and many lives if they had been 
shot in the beginning. However, there they were, and they 
had to be reckoned with. The assault on Mogaung and 
the attack on the column returning from the jade-mines 
(vide p. 256) were, in fact, the work of Po Saw. 

For a short time after Major Adamson left with the 
expeditionary force there were no disturbances. But signs 
and rumours of Po Saw's activity were frequent. The 
attempts to stop the column on its way from Mogaung to 
Mohnyin were organized or instigated by him. In the 
latter half of April the rumours began to take shape, and 
the Kachins were said to be on the warpath. In the 
third week of April the headman of a group of villages 
in the rice plain south of Mogaung reported to the Assistant 
Commissioner that Bo Ti and three chiefs of the Ithi 
Kachin tribe had ordered him to join a party which they 
were organizing for an assault on Mogaung. If he refused, 
they threatened to destroy the village of Taungbaw in 
which he lived. They required him to meet them at a 
given place to settle details. At this time Mr. Twomey, 
owing to an accidental wound, had taken leave, and 
Lieutenant L. E. Eliott, a young soldier who had been 
appointed to the Commission, held his place. The 
headman proposed that a strong party should be sent 
from Mogaung to ambush Bo Ti and his friends when 
they came to the try sting-place. This proposal seemed 
to Lieutenant Eliott to be treacherous dealing which 
a British officer ought not to countenance, and he refused 
to join in it ; a piece of high-minded chivalry some- 
what misplaced under the circumstances. The headman 
having been advised by Lieutenant Eliott not to keep the 
appointment with Bo Ti lest treachery should be intended, 
left the fort. 

Early next morning he ran in to report that before dawn 
Bo Ti, with some hundreds of men, had come to Taungbaw 
and were stockading themselves in the village. Taungbaw 
is four or five miles from Mogaung. Captain O'Donnell and 
Lieutenant Eliott, taking the mounted men and a company 
of Gurkhas, started at once for the scene of action, ordering 
reinforcements to follow. They met fugitives who con- 


firmed the headman's report, and said that Bo Ti was in 
strong force and was fortifying his position. Taungbaw is 
on a small hill rising abruptly from the plain, detached and 
about 400 yards distant from the main ridge, and about 
the same distance from a village called Zedi, which was 
occupied by friendlies, Burmese and Shan peasants, from 
the plain. Bo Ti had been too busy in strengthening his 
position to pay attention to the movements of these people. 

When O'Donnell and his men were about six thousand 
paces from the hill, a signal shot was fired by the enemy's 
outpost. Advancing to within 400 yards, our men delivered 
several volleys. Each volley was answered by a Kachin 
cheer. Evidently they meant to make a stand. At this 
moment the reinforcements from Mogaung came up and 
it was decided to attack the Kachin position. The hill was 
steep and covered with thick bamboo jungle, very difficult to 
get through. The enemy could not be seen. Dividing his 
men into three parties, O'Donnell sent the mounted men 
round the left flank to form up in rear of the hills. Part 
of his infantry were sent round the right flank and told to 
get well under the hill. The remainder, led by the two 
British officers, then worked round the right flank, which 
seemed to offer the best openings for an ascent. As they 
crossed a narrow causeway in a paddy-field and a small 
bridge they drew the Kachin fire. 

On coming into touch with the first party it was told to 
go farther on round the hill. The order was then given to 
advance with fixed bayonets. The bamboo jungle prevented 
the men from getting on fast. A heavy fire was kept up 
by the Kachins, but owing to the steepness of the ascent 
the bullets flew high and there were no casualties. Beyond 
the bamboo jungle was the village stockade, which was 
within 30 yards of Bo Ti's position. But when the Kachins 
saw the Gurkhas forcing their way through this stockade, 
they did not wait for the bayonet, but after firing a few 
shots bolted down the hill, our men chasing them. 

At the bottom the mounted men took up the running, 
and it was a case of every man for himself, Unfortunately 
when the firing began some of the Mounted Infantry ponies 
were scared and broke away. Owing to this mischance the 
pursuit was less effective than it should have been. Even 


so the affair was well managed and gave a lesson to the 
Kachins, who left eighteen dead near the village and on 
the line of flight, and several prisoners were also taken. 
The friendly villagers lay low during the fight. When it 
was all over they came to the front and began mutilating 
the dead in a barbarous fashion, and were driven off with 
difficulty and not without force. 

Some anxiety was felt by Captain O'Donnell and Mr. 
Eliott lest Po Saw, learning that the greater part of the 
garrison had gone out, should attack the Mogaung stockade. 
Only sixty-six men, some of them sick, had been left in the 
fort enough, perhaps, to hold it, but not to defend the town. 
Fortunately no attempt was made by Po Saw. At the time 
of the fight he was on his way to the jade-mines. He had 
attempted, as it was learnt afterwards, to come to Bo Ti's 
assistance, but he could not reach the scene of the fight in 

The next month showed constant activity on the part 
of Po Saw and Bo Ti and their Kachin allies. Frequent 
attacks were made on boats going down or up the Mogaung 
Eiver. It became necessary to send them in convoys with 
police guards. Villages near Mogaung were raided, and 
early in May Nanpapa, near Sinbo, was attacked, many 
villagers killed or carried away, and the village destroyed. 
Po Saw himself took up a position at Kamaing, where he 
could harass the traders on the route to the jade-mines 
and Indawgyi, and from which he could also threaten 
Mogaung. It was not possible for Captain O'Donnell to 
drive him away or to act on the offensive at any dis- 
tance from the fort. Hence the enemy became more 

On the 21st of May, under cover of night, a large body 
of Shans, under Bo Ti, got into the town and took up 
positions within the low brick-wall enclosures of the 
pagodas, which, as has been described, were scattered about 
in and outside the town. The garrison, under Captain 
O'Donnell and Lieutenant Eliott, turned out against them. 
A really good fight followed, in which the enemy lost forty- 
nine men killed and many wounded, and were driven in 
confusion out of the town. They were nearly all Shans, 
some of whom had come from the Uyu country beyond 


the jade-mines. The garrison lost twenty-three men killed 
and wounded. The Gurkhas were gallantly led, and behaved 
grandly, and on that day the Mogaung Levy won a name 
for itself. 

The situation at Mogaung caused some anxiety. The 
garrison was too weak. Its strength was now only two 
hundred and ninety-two men, many of whom were sick, not 
enough to allow a force to leave the post for a day. Two 
hundred men were ordered up from Bhamo, and with that 
addition the garrison would be able to hold their own, but 
it would not suffice to enable them to punish the Kachins. 
Bo Ti was occupying a place called Nyaungbintha, in the 
midst of the Ithi tribe of Kachins, by whom he was strongly 
backed. At Kamaing on the north was Po Saw, supported 
by the Thama Sawbwa of the Lepei tribe, who appeared to 
be most hostile. There could be no permanent peace until 
the strength of these tribes should be broken. 

At the earnest request of the Chief Commissioner two 
mountain-guns, with the necessary equipment, were given 
to the Mogaung Levy. There was some not unnatural 
reluctance on the part of the military authorities in India 
to trust an irregular force with artillery. But the excellent 
conduct of the men in the late fights, and the proved 
capacity of the gallant young soldier commanding them, 
overcame their unwillingness. It was impossible to allow 
Captain O'Donnell to attack stockades and to turn large 
bodies of the enemy out of strong positions without 
artillery. With only one British officer, or at the most 
two, a chance shot or a bamboo spike might deprive the 
force of its commander and cause a disaster. The Chief 
Commissioner pressed this argument, and asked to be 
allowed to raise the garrison of Mogaung to ten companies. 
Sanction was given in October. 

It took time, however, to raise and train the additional 
companies of Gurkhas ; and in any case the expeditions 
which the conduct of the Kachins had rendered necessary 
could not have been undertaken until the rains had passed. 
In the meanwhile, until the guns and reinforcements reached 
them, the Mogaung officers were instructed to concentrate 
their men in Mogaung, not to attempt to occupy outposts ; 
to move about patrols of fifty men when the weather per- 


mitted it; to strike at the enemy when they saw a good 
opening and could inflict real punishment ; while leaving 
always enough men in. the fort to defend it and the town. 
They were forbidden to make small and hasty expeditions 
into the Kachin Hills in order to retaliate on raiders. These 
restrictions were galling, no doubt, to Captain O'Donnell and 
to the Assistant Commissioner, Lieutenant L. E. Eliott, 
who was a keen soldier as well as a promising adminis- 
trator. The Chief Commissioner, however, could not risk 
a catastrophe. Moreover, he held that spasmodic action 
of this sort, while exposing small parties of our men to 
much risk, only embittered the wild hill-men without 
impressing them with our strength, and was transient in 
its effects. The plan of subsidizing those chiefs who were 
not in arms against us, and could help to guard the trade 
routes or carry the mails, was recommended. 

Present needs having been provided for, a plan of opera- 
tions to be undertaken during the coming open season was 
framed by the Chief Commissioner, in consultation with 
Sir George White, and early in November it was sanctioned 
by the Government of India. Four separate operations 
were to be undertaken. 

1. Against the Lepei tribe north of Mogaung, the leading 
chief being the Sawbwa of Thama, Po Saw's main 

2. Against the Ithi tribe south of Mogaung, who were 
under the Sawbwa of Panga. 

3. Against the Sana Kachins of the Lataung tribe, who 
had raided near Mogaung in May. 

4. Against the Makau and other tribes in the neigh- 
bourhood of Sinbo, who were responsible for the 
destructive attack on Nanpapa in May, and for another in 
August on trading boats at Hlegyomaw on the Mogaung 

The control of these operations was taken by Sir George 
White at the Chief Commissioner's request, the military 
police in the subdivision being placed at his disposal. 
While the necessary preparations were being made, letters 
of the nature of an ultimatum were sent to the Sawbwas 
of Thama and Panga and other tribal chiefs, requiring them 
to make formal submission to the subdivisional officer at 


Mogaung, to pay for the damage done by them to traders, 
and to surrender Po Saw and Bo Ti, who had lately 
added to their crimes the murders of Shwe Gya, the best 
friend the British Administration had in Mogaung, and 
of the loyal headman of Kamaing who had always 
helped us. 

On the 7th of January, 1889, the force * detailed for these 
expeditions left Mogaung under command of Captain 
O'Donnell.t The first step was to occupy Kamaing, after 
a very slight opposition by the Thama Sawbwa's men, 
and to establish a permanent military police post there. 
Unfortunately smallpox broke out amongst the Gurkhas 
of the Levy, and Captain O'Donnell found it necessary to 
halt at Kamaing until the 15th of February, and thus a 
whole month of the most favourable season for military 
operations was lost. 

On the 15th of February, the men's health having been 
restored, the force fell to work with energy, and engagement 
rapidly followed engagement. On the 16th of February 
three villages were taken after some resistance. On the 
17th the Kachins were encountered on a strongly stockaded 
position, which was taken and destroyed. On the 19th 
Thama itself was taken. The enemy here showed more 
fight. Three men of the Hampshires received gunshot 
wounds, and two officers and eleven men were injured by 
bamboo spikes. 

320 Mogaung Levy ( Lieut. Benson, Munster Fusiliers, Commanding. 
(Gurkhas and < Lieut. Hawker, Hants Regiment. 
Sikhs) ( Lieut. Manning, South Wales Borderers. 

Mr. Crowther, Inspector of Police. 

Lieut. Clements, Staff Officer. 

Lieut. Eliott, Assistant Comissioner, Political Officer. 

Col. Cronin, Senior Medical Officer. 

Mr. Ogle, India Survey Department. 

f Under military regulations Captain O'Donnell, being in command 
of troops called Military Police, would have been unable to command 
regular troops, and thus his experience and ability would have been 
lost. This difficulty was easily avoided by Sir George White. 


Captain O'Donnell's report gives the following account 
of this engagement, which shows the nature of the 
fighting in these expeditions : 

" My guide, who had done splendidly up to this, lost 
me four valuable hours in finding the road. He struck 
it at last, and after a severe climb of 4J miles, we came 
out near the village of Thama. On arriving at the crest 
of the hill Lieutenant Eliott, Assistant Commissioner, 
received a letter, stuck in a stick on the road, from Thama 
Sawbwa, in which he said we might come and burn his 
village, he would do nothing but hide in the jungle, &c. 
This put us on our guard, and we went on cautiously 
over the crest, and then saw what appeared to me through 
my glasses, a garden paling. I examined it well, but found 
nothing suspicious about it. However, I ordered the 
advance with all caution. The Hants were in front, the 
Gurkhas forming flanking parties in rear. When about 
sixty yards from the place we could not make out that 
it was more than a paling, when suddenly we were saluted 
by a volley from many guns. Three Hants men fell under 
this badly wounded, but the remainder walked off the road 
into the jungle and poured in some very steady volleys. 
The Gurkhas were quickly up on the right flank, and the 
guns were brought up and two rounds fired at the stockade, 
and then with a wild cheer it was rushed and taken, the 
rebels not waiting. . . . 

"Blood was found here. I went on, leaving the rear- 
guard to bring on the wounded. We came before a second 
stockade ; we were again saluted, but no casualties occurred, 
and one round from a gun and another charge made us 
masters of this also. In this charge much damage was 
done us, two officers and eleven rank-and-file being spiked 
by bamboo spikes. Captain Macdonald and I were both 
spiked through the foot. After this no more opposition 
was met with and Thama was entered and destroyed. 
A search in the jungle was made, but nothing found. After 
the sick had been attended to I returned to camp, meeting 
no opposition en route." 

On the 21st of February a place called Muklon was 
assaulted and taken. Here Lieutenant Hawker, of the 
Hampshire Regiment, fell badly wounded spiked in the 


thigh. He was sent down to Bhamo, where he died of 
the wound. By the 9th of March the operations against 
the Lepei tribe had been completed, all their villages or 
stockades taken, and large quantities of grain captured. Our 
losses amounted to twenty-one officers and men killed and 
wounded. The Kachin loss is not known ; it was probably 
very small, as they made no firm stand. 

After little more than a day's rest Captain O'Donnell 
moved out again, this time against the Ithi tribe to the 
south of Mogaung. He established a post at Nyaungbintha, 
in the centre of their territory. By the 28th of March 
ten villages of this tribe had been taken with very little 
fighting. The village of Waranaung, of which the chief 
had been loyal in every respect since the occupation of 
Mogaung, was carefully preserved from injury. 

On the 4th of April a move was made against Sana, 
which fell without an effort. 

The column now turned south to inbo, and from that 
base moved out to punish the villages concerned in the 
barbarous raids on Nanpapa and Hlegyomaw. The villages 
concerned having been taken after some resistance, the 
task assigned to Captain O'Donnell was completed on the 
4th of May. 

In these four expeditions our casualties amounted to one 
officer and three men killed, and five officers and thirty 
men (including followers) wounded. The column was 
engaged with Kachins thirty- two times, and took forty-six 
stockades. Owing to the loss of a month by the sickness 
at Kamaing, the work was more hurried than the Chief 
Commissioner had designed. The results, however, were 
very good, and had been obtained with more ease and less 
bloodshed than had been expected. By the occupation 
of Kamaing, the trade route to the jade-mines was opened 
and made safe. The Marip tribe who dominate the jade- 
mines, and the Sassum tribe who adjoin the amber-mines, 
were freed from Po Saw's pressure and their loyalty assured. 
Villages from the Kachin tribes came in by scores to 
make formal submission to the Assistant Commissioner at 
Mogaung. Of the Thama Sawbwa's villages only Thama 
and two others held out ; the Ithi tribe, the Kachins round 
Sinbo, and the Lakun tribe south of the Ithi country all 


submitted. In short, the peace of the district was secured 
and the authority of the Government established. 

From the number of casualties it might be inferred that 
the service was one of little danger. The inference would 
be wholly wrong. The column was engaged in bush or 
jungle fighting with the enemy almost every day, and if our 
casualties were not greater it was due as well to the pre- 
cautions taken by the leader and to his skilful tactics as to 
the failure of the Kachins to defend their stockades. The 
heaviest part of the work fell on the Gurkhas of the 
Mogaung Levy (military police), who furnished the flanking 
parties. Without them the force must have lost heavily. 
" The flanking done by the Gurkhas was splendid indeed, and 
it is entirely owing to their jungle work that I had not 
more casualties." * The column marched over six hundred 
and fifty miles, fighting continually, and the men's clothes 
and boots were torn to pieces. It was a fine display of 
patient endurance, courage, and persistence, in face of great 
difficulties, by officers and men, The Commander, Captain 
O'Donnell, was one of the soldiers to whom the Administra- 
tion of Burma in those days owed so much. And he was 
greatly assisted by Lieutenant L. E. Eliott, to whom fell 
the difficult duty of providing good guides and correct 

Captain O'Donnell concluded his report on the results 
of the operations with a notice of Lieutenant W. Hawker, 
of the Hants Eegiment. He was spiked through the thigh 
while gallantly leading his men in a charge at Mukton on 
the 15th of March, 1889. He was attached to the Mogaung 
Levy for these operations. He was senior to Lieutenant 
Benson, and might have taken command of the levy from 
that officer." But he showed " a sincere spirit in the welfare 
of the service " in refusing to supersede Lieutenant Benson, 
who belonged to the Indian Army and knew the men and 
their language. " He volunteered to take charge of the 
transport on the line of march, and this he did until Captain 
Macdonald was wounded. He was commanding the Hants 
men when he received his death-wound." 

* Captain O'Donnell's report. 



SOUTH of Bhamo when we took the country was a Shan 
State known as Mong Leng, and adjacent to it and 
separating it from the district of the Euby Mines was 
another Shan State named Mong Mit. The two together 
covered a large area, including the lower valley of the Shweli 
and stretching from the southern boundary of Bhamo to 
the northern and north-western limits of the Northern 
Shan States of Tawngpeng and North Hsenwi. Neither 
of them was included in the list of Shan States proper. 
They were much mixed up with the adjacent British dis- 
tricts Bhamo Katha and the Ruby Mines. They were little 
interested in the politics of the Shan States ; and being 
more easily accessible to the Burmese and very open to 
Kachin raids, they had not much cohesion or independence. 
For these reasons they were not placed under the jurisdic- 
tion of the Superintendent of the Northern Shan States, 
but were dealt with by the Commissioner of the Northern 

At the time of the annexation the Sawbwa of Mong Mit 
had died. His heir, a minor, was under the tutelage of the 
Amats y or ministers, who formed a council to rule the State ; 
which, as well as its neighbour, Mong Leng, was in great 
disorder. The diverse races which people this country, 
Kachins and Palaungs* in the hills, Burmans and Shans 
in the more open parts, make it hard to govern. In Mong 
Leng there was in 1886-7 no central authority. In Mong 
Mit the administration was very feeble. The Kachins were 

* Palaungs are a Mon-Anam tribe, found mostly in the uplands of the 
Northern Shan States (Upper Burma Gazetteer, vol. iv., p. 179). 



Chin CaniDaifn. 


in the ascendancy. They were ousting the Palaungs, and 
trampled on the more peaceful villagers of the plains. But 
even the Kachins had no cohesion and obeyed no central 
authority. Each chief did what seemed best in his own 
eyes ; he raided and blackmailed every village that lay 
within reach of his hills. The formation of the country, 
a jumble of hills covered with dense jungle, through which 
the drainage of the higher ranges forces its way naturally, 
produced an unruly race. The only open tract of any 
extent is the valley of the Lower Shweli from Myitson 
to the Irrawaddy at Pyinlebin. 

Early in 1886 one Hkam Leng came to the Deputy Com- 
missioner of the Bhamo district which touches Mong 
Leng on the south, and claimed to be recognized as the 
chief of both Mong Leng and Mong Mit. He was told 
that his claim would be inquired into, and that meanwhile 
he should remain quietly in Katha. Towards the end of 
the year, however, growing impatient, he went to Mong Mit 
and presented himself to the people as their Sawbwa. But 
they rejected him without ceremony. He applied to the 
Deputy Commissioner for assistance without success, and 
then became irreconcilable and a centre of disturbance. 

The ministers of Mong Mit, on the other hand, were 
loyal and helpful. To the extent of their power not much, 
it is true they gave active assistance to the British force 
which occupied the Kuby Mines in 1886-7. In April, 
1887, the Chief Commissioner being at Mogok, the head- 
quarters of the Euby Mines district, received the ministers 
of Mong Mit there and inquired into the facts. Finding 
that the title of the young Sawbwa was good, he confirmed 
him in his position. It was decided to appoint a regent, 
assisted by the ministers, to govern the State until the 
young chief should come of age. The boundaries of 
Mong Mit territory were defined, and Hkam Leng was 
formally warned against overstepping them, while at the 
same time he was assured that if he came in and made 
submission to the Government he should be recognized 
as chief of Mong Leng. In despite of this he attacked 
villages in Mong Mit and endeavoured to establish 
himself by force of arms. 

During 1887 he continued in open hostility. Several 


small expeditions had to be made against him; and the 
southern border of the Bhamo district, as well as the 
Mong Leng country and the Kachins in all the hills 
about, were kept in a restless state. As it was found 
impossible to reconcile him, Hkam Leng was outlawed 
and the Mong Leng country partitioned. The northern 
part was added to the Bhamo district as the Upper 
Sinkan township ; the remainder was made over to Mong 
Mit, to which it had at one time been subject. 

Hkam Leng, however, was by no means disposed of. 
He lurked for the most part in the Kachin Hills to the 
east of the Mong Leng country, and was frequently 
in the villages along the upper reaches of the Sinkan. To 
him another restless spirit was soon allied. In 1886 the 
two sons of the Hmethaya Prince, one of King Mindon's 
numerous progeny, had made themselves prominent in 
resisting the British Government. Their cause was taken 
up by a notable guerilla leader, Shwe Yan, who raised 
their standard in the Ava district. Driven out of Ava 
at the end of 1886, they took hiding in Mandalay, where 
a plot was hatched for supporting their claims. The 
conspiracy was discovered and the leaders arrested. The 
younger Prince was captured and sent to school in 
Eangoon. The elder, Saw Yan Naing, escaped to Hsenwi, 
and failing to get help there retired to the mountainous 
and very difficult country on the borders of Tawnpeng and 
Mong Mit. There he made his quarters in a strong 
position not easy to approach, and gathered round him 
a band of discontented and desperate characters. No 
attempt was made during 1887-8 to dislodge him, and he 
contented himself with threatening Mong Mit. He was 
invited to surrender, and favourable terms were offered 
to him. The only wish was to relieve the country from 
his presence. But he would have no truck with us. 

Early in 1889 reports came in from Bhamo and other 
sources that Saw Yan Naing and Hkam Leng had agreed 
to unite forces and make simultaneous attacks on various 
points in the north. They were reported to be enlisting 
the aid of Kachin tribesmen, Chinese bandits from across 
the border, and Burmese outlaws. Risings were to be 
organized in the Upper Sinkan township and a descent 


made on Mong Mit. Even the date for the rising was 
fixed. Whether there was any systematic concert or not 
was never ascertained, but a good many outbreaks 
occurred without any visible connection and of no great 
magnitude, but enough, taken all together, to harass 
both soldiers and police, as well as those responsible for 
the administration. From the Kuby Mines district 
as early as the last week in December had come reports 
of a gathering, headed by Saw Yan Naing, at Manpun, in the 
hills, three marches from the town of Mong Mit. A 
detachment from the Hampshire Regiment was sent from 
Bernard Myo, the Cantonment of the Ruby Mines, to Mong 
Mit, to garrison the town, while the State levies went 
out to act against the body of rebels at Manpun. 

Meanwhile Lieutenant Nugent, who was in command 
at Mong Mit, hearing that there were some dacoits a few 
miles off, went with sixteen men of the Hampshires to 
attack them. The dacoits were strongly posted. Lieutenant 
Nugent and one private were killed and six men wounded. 
The remaining nine men, encumbered with the wounded, 
had to retire. This disaster happened on the 14th of 
January. Lieutenant Nugent was a young officer with- 
out experience of the country, and he ought not to have 
been left without some one capable of advising him. 

It was promptly retrieved. The Deputy Commissioner, Mr. 
Archibald Colquhoun, getting together troops and police, 
renewed the attack on the enemy's position and drove 
them out with much loss. On the 20th of January the 
village or town of Twinge^ on the Irrawaddy, was taken 
and burnt by one of Hkam Leng's adherents. No attempt 
was made on Mong Mit after that date, and no formidable 
bands were encountered, although the Ruby Mines districts 
and the adjacent parts of Mong Mit were harassed by 
small gangs of robbers. A feeling of anxiety, however, 
prevailed and begat alarming rumours. The imagination 
of Shans, Burmans, and perhaps of other nervous persons, 
is fertile in the matter of numbers, and loves to deal in 
large figures. At the end of January hostile gatherings at 
different points, amounting to nearly two thousand men 
a quite impossible number were reported from Mogok, the 
headquarters of the Ruby Mines district. With a view 


to allaying these apprehensions the garrisons there and 
at Mong Mit were strengthened. 

The Chief Commissioner thought it best, under the 
circumstances, to place the control in the hands of one man, 
and at his request Sir George White appointed Colonel 
Cockran, of the Hampshires, to command all the troops 
and military police in the disturbed area, with orders 
to take the measures necessary for the peace of the 
country and for the destruction of such gangs as might 
be found. Up to the end of March, however, no important 
action was taken, as no large body of the enemy had been 

On the 30th of March a column under Major Garfit, 
of the Hampshire Kegiment, was dispatched against Saw 
Yan Naing, who was still at Binbong, near Manpun. 
Four stockades were taken without loss on our side, 
and Saw Yan Naing and his following fell back for 
the time. The Chief Commissioner intended, and had 
arranged with the Major-General commanding, that this 
column should remain in Binbong and the neighbourhood 
at least till the middle of April, in order to make our 
influence felt in these wild parts and to co-operate with a 
police force which had been sent through Monglong, a 
sub- State of Hsipaw, lying south-west of Mong Mit, and also 
to join hands with Lieutenant Daly, the Superintendent 
of the Northern Shan States, who was ordered to come 
with military police through Tawnpeng. Unfortunately 
the officer commanding misunderstood his instructions, 
and leaving Binbong on the 6th of April returned to Mong 
Mit. The expedition consequently was not very fruitful 
of results, and Saw Yan Naing returned to the neighbour- 
hood and took up his quarters at Manton a little 
farther north. 

Unluckily, Lieutenant Daly was unable to leave his head- 
quarters at Lashio until the 7th of April. He then pro- 
ceeded to Tawnpeng in accordance with the orders he had 
received from the Chief Commissioner, directing him to 
co-operate if possible with the force acting against Saw Yan 
Naing. Lieutenant Daly had been instructed also to 
get into communication with the Prince, and to renew the 
offer of terms if he would surrender. 


In January, when at Hsipaw, Lieutenant Daly had met 
a Shan who had been with Saw Yan Naing in July and 
August of the year preceding (1888) ; this man undertook 
to take letters to the pretender. He arrived at Mong Mit 
soon after the defeat of the band which had gathered near 
that place, and heard that the Prince had left Manpun after 
that encounter, in which one of his chief followers, besides 
many others, had fallen. The messenger, therefore, was 
unable to deliver the letters. However, in March Lieu- 
tenant Daly, being at Hsipaw, again met this man, and 
sent him off with fresh letters to the Prince. Again 
fortune was adverse. Major Garfit delivered his attack just 
before Lieutenant Daly's man reached Manpun, and the 
Prince had gone. However, he had not gone far, and was 
found by the messenger in Mong Mit territory, in a Palaung 
village. He had a following of one hundred men, more 
or less, of whom twenty were Burmans, the rest Shans 
and Kachins ; none of them men of note. As Saw Yan 
Naing had been attacked only two or three days before 
by the column from Mong Mit, he was not disposed to 
trust the promises made to induce his surrender. Never- 
theless, he behaved as a Prince should. The messengers 
were allowed to stay four days in his camp, and were 
hospitably treated. 

They were then dismissed with a polite letter, to the 
effect that " he had not plotted against the Government, 
but that on account of his past offences he feared to 
come in, that he had no wish for Government alms" (an 
allowance had been offered to him); "and that he would 
take to flight if Lieutenant Daly came near his camp." 
He had married the daughter of a Kachin chief. It may 
be that beyond allowing himself to be made the centre of 
disturbance he had taken no active part in the movements 
made in his name. None the less his presence in British 
territory was the cause of trouble. 

While these events were passing in Mong Mit a watchful 
eye had to be kept on other parts of the district. Towards 
the end of December, 1888, the Deputy Commissioner of 
Bhamo received news of the appearance of a Mintha, 
or prince of some kind, on the Mole Eiver, north- 
east of Bhamo. This Prince gave out that he was 



in concert with Saw Yan Naing, and his plans may 
have been conceived with the design of acting with 
Saw Yan Naing and Hkam Leng. The rising appeared 
to be somewhat formidable. It was promptly met. Mr. 
Segrave, the Superintendent of Police, was sent out at 
once with a strong detachment of military police. He 
encountered the band, which was made up mainly of 
Chinese brigands and deserters from the Chinese army, 
on the 9th of January, 1889, and punished it severely, killing 
more than fifty men. The rest dispersed and escaped, 
probably over the Chinese border. The peace of the district 
north of Bhamo was not disturbed again during the year. 
The connection of this band with Saw Yan Naing was not 
established. In their camp were found papers showing 
that they were in communication with the leaders of the 
Mogaung malcontents, namely, the Sawbwa of Thama and 
Po Saw. 

Hitherto it had been found impossible to post military 
police in the Upper Sinkan township. The difficulty of com- 
munication, especially in the rains, was great, and the 
climate very hurtful. The best possible arrangement was 
made by appointing a Kachin of much influence to act as 
magistrate and executive officer, and this man had been 
able to keep order, at least on the surface. His head- 
quarters were at Sikaw. In December, 1888, Mr. Shaw, 
the Deputy Commissioner, visited Sikaw and also Si-u, an 
important village near the head of the Sinkan stream. He 
learnt that Hkam Leng, who was allied by marriage to the 
Kachin chiefs of the Lweseng and Tonhon range in the 
east of the township, was harboured by them, and from 
time to time came down to Si-u and levied contributions 
from the peasants. The Kachin magistrate had followed 
the Burman plan of shutting his eyes to that which it was 
inconvenient to see, and, lest he should incur his superior's 
displeasure, he said nothing about it. He was warned 
against permitting Kkam Leng to enter his township, and 
ordered to send speedy information to Bhamo if he should 
reappear. This warning had a good effect. Early in January, 
1889, he reported that Hkam Leng had returned to Si-u, and 
was corresponding with a pretended Prince at Hpon Kan, 
a hill range thirty miles from Bhamo, a very nest of hornets. 


At the same time information was received from other 
sources that a large gathering of Chinese and Burmese, 
said to number five hundred men, were at Hpon 

The Chief Commissioner was at Bhamo at the end of 
January. He arranged that a patrol of troops should visit 
Sikaw and Si-u at least once a month. Unfortunately 
something prevented the despatch of the military patrol, 
and on the 3rd of February the duty was entrusted to a 
party of fifty military police. On the 4th of February, at 
Malin, a village on the Sinkan River, about twenty miles 
from Si-u, the police came on a large body of rebels 
strongly stockaded. They attacked the stockade, but were 
repulsed, losing two men killed and ten wounded and all 
their baggage. 

A strong column, consisting of 60 rifles of the Hampshire 
Eegiment, 150 of the 17th Bengal Infantry, and two guns, 
left Bhamo as soon as news of this disaster came in. On the 
7th of February, after driving in their outposts, this force 
engaged the enemy at Malin, where they were holding a 
strong position. They stood their ground with more than 
usual courage, and were not dislodged without some severe 
fighting, which cost us the loss of one officer and four men 
killed and eighteen wounded. The pursuit was carried for 
some distance, but they did not rally, and dispersed over 
the country. It was ascertained that this rising had been 
organized by Hkam Leng and Saw Yan Naing. In fact, the 
nucleus of the gang was a body of eighty or ninety men 
from the Prince's headquarters at Manpun joined by large 
numbers of villagers, some of their own free will, some 
under compulsion. The villages that furnished contingents 
were fined, the police force increased at the cost of the 
township, and the population as far as possible disarmed. 
No attempt was made to punish the individuals who had 
taken part in the business. Hkam Leng retired to his 
Kachin wife and allies in the hills. 

Late in May an attempt was made to capture him, but 
it was frustrated by his Kachin supporters, who afterwards 
came down in force and occupied Si-u. On the 2nd of June 
they were attacked by troops and police and driven out, 
losing twenty-one killed. The police force in the Upper 


Sinkan was reinforced again. The rains being now at hand, 
further action had to be postponed. 

Everything united to obstruct the work of bringing this 
part of the country into order. The hills and forests, the 
neighbourhood of the Chinese frontier, the character of 
the people, Kachins and Palaungs, who had to be dealt with 
piecemeal hill by hill, and had never submitted to any 
central control, all combined to make it a very hard task. 
The Burmese officials may have had some control over the 
tribes. But probably so long as they did not make too 
much disturbance the hill-men were left to do as they liked. 
When there is no government things arrange themselves, 
and a limit is automatically fixed which the raiding tribes 
cannot exceed without exhausting their preserves. The 
advent of the British cut the weak bonds by which the hill 
people had been held, and the appearance of Saw Yan Naing 
and Hkam Leng as active opponents of the foreign invaders 
gave them a rallying-point. 

The first step towards peace was the capture or expulsion 
of these two leaders, both of whom, it may be noted, follow- 
ing the example of more enlightend princes, had cemented 
their alliances by marriage with Kachin ladies of rank. 
It was decided, therefore, so far as the northern part of the 
province was concerned, to devote the open season of 1889-90 
to the complete subjugation of this tract of country. If 
possible, the two leaders were to be got rid of. In any 
case the recalcitrant Kachins and others were to be reduced 
to obedience and the authority of the Mong Mit State 
over its outlying parts affirmed. In the district north of 
Bhamo nothing called for immediate action. A strong body 
of seasoned Gurkhas from the Mogaung Levy under Captain 
O'Donnell could be detached to strengthen the column of 
troops provided from the Bhamo garrison. 

It was arranged accordingly that one column should go 
to Si-u and move early in December against the Lweseng 
and Ton Hon Kachins and then move on to Manpun ; and 
that a second, starting from Mong Mit, should join the first 
at Manpun, while at the same time the Superintendent 
of the Northern Shan States (Lieutenant Hugh Daly) 
should move with some of the Shan Levy (Indian military 
police) through Hsenwi and act with the first two columns ; 


and a fourth column, also of military police under Mr. 
H. F. Hertz, Assistant Superintendent of Police, should work 
up from the south-east through Mong Long and along the 
Tawnpeng Mong Mit boundary. 

Instructions were given to the Sawbwas of Tawnpeng 
and North Hsenwi to take measures to stop the passage 
of fugitives through their States. There was a reasonable 
hope that these measures, although they might not effect 
the capture of the leaders, would establish the authority 
of the British Government and bring home to the people 
of this difficult tract the inconvenience of resistance. 

The Bhamo column, commanded by Major Blundell, 
accompanied by Mr. G. W. Shaw, the Deputy Com- 
missioner, left Bhamo on the 15th of December, 1889, for 
Sikaw. The tribes began to take in the situation. Twelve 
hills or groups of the Lakun tribe came to Sikaw to make 
formal submission, and one of their leading men volunteered 
to guide the force against Lw&seng. This was a good 
beginning. Major Blundell, sending forward a detachment 
to Si-u to keep the road open, left Sikaw on the 20th 
of December and marched on Lweseng. A party of 
Gurkhas under Captain O'Donnell was ordered to take 
up a position at the ferries in the rear of the Lweseng 
Range, which were said to be the only places where the 
Shweli River could be crossed. Several other such points, 
however, were found, and at one of them were signs that 
the fugitives had already crossed over. While making 
this reconnaissance Captain O'Donnell's men were exposed 
to Kachin fire from the hills, and a very distinguished 
Gurkha officer (Kala Thapa Sing) fell. 

The main body reached Lweseng on the 22nd of De- 
cember. A stockade across the road a mile from the village 
was defended by Kachins, and in taking it a native officer 
was killed and five men wounded. The village was found 
deserted, and was occupied by our men. There was some 
sniping from the hill-slope afterwards, and two were 
wounded. Next day the force advanced to Ton Hon. 
Two stockades erected across the road were defended, but 
were turned, with the loss of two men wounded, and Ton 
Hon was occupied without further fighting. But again 
the Kachins fired from the hills into the village, and one 


Gurkha was killed and another wounded. A halt was 
made at Ton Hon for some days in order to open commu- 
nications with the Kachins, in the hope of bringing them 
to terms. The elders of Lweseng and Ton Hon and 
other neighbouring villages came in. The Deputy Com- 
missioner selected seven villages which had opposed the 
troops and harboured rebels, and imposed on them a fine 
of money (Ks. 2,500) and guns (50). By the 30th of 
December all the villages belonging to these tribes had 
submitted and part of the fine had been paid. The chiefs, 
however, still held aloof. 

On the 3rd of January, 1890, the column left for Manton, 
leaving a Burmese civil officer, supported by a detachment 
of the 17th Bengal Infantry, to collect the balance of the 
fine. Manton was reached without any fighting on the 
llth of January ; and the column from Mong Mit marched 
in on the same day. The village was found deserted, and 
Saw Yan Naing had fled. He made his escape, it was said, 
into the Chinese territory of Chef an. On his road through 
Northern Hsenwi he just missed falling into the hands 
of Mr. Daly, who arrived at Manton on the 16th of January. 
Thus the three parties met and were able to exchange 
information. After a few days' halt Mr. Daly continued 
his tour through Hsenwi territory, while the Mong Mit 
and Bhamo columns waited at Manton for supplies. Some 
villages which had been hostile were visited ; and as a 
large body of Kachins and Palaungs was reported to have 
gathered at Lanchein, a few miles south of Manton, where 
Saw Yan Naing had stayed on his flight, two detachments 
were sent out to disperse them. Stockades had been built 
across the road and were stubbornly defended by the enemy. 
Here Major Forrest, in leading one of the detachments, was 
severely wounded. The village was taken and destroyed, 
while the troops returned to Manton. 

It was now decided that the Mong Mit party under 
Major Greenaway, with Mr. Daniell as civil officer, should 
move south to Manpun, while the Bhamo column remained 
at Manton. On the way Mr. Daniell was met by the 
headmen of the villages between Manton and Manpun who 
had come to tender their submission to the British Govern- 
ment. They were told that if Saw Yan Naing was with 


them he must be given up, and fines were imposed on those 
groups or circles of villages which were known to have 
given the rebel leaders active help. 

By the 25th of January all the headmen of the five hills 
or circles comprised in the south-western quarter of the 
Mong Mit State had made formal submission. On the 
26th of January Mr. Hertz, who had marched from the 
south-east through Mong Long with his military police, 
arrived in Man ton. The rough country along the Taung- 
baing border had been entrusted to him to search a duty 
he performed well, while as a by-work he constructed a very 
useful map of the ground. The Mong Mit column moved 
to Yabon, a village nearer to Mong Mit, and from its posi- 
tion a better base for operations. News was now received 
that Hkam Leng was in hiding in Sumput, a village north 
of the Shweli. Major Greenaway, accompanied by Mr. 
Shaw, marched with a part of his force for Sumput by way 
of Molo, which ferry was reached on the 1st of February. 
Hkam Leng, however, had left Sumput, and Major Green- 
away moved across the Shweli to Kyungyaung. 

Convinced by the experience of these operations that the 
mere movement of troops through the country was in- 
effectual, the Chief Commissioner decided to take rougher 
measures to bring home to the people of this tract the 
power of the Government, and to convince them that they 
could not support these disturbers of the peace with 
impunity. Orders were issued, therefore, to arrest and 
deport the headmen of the villages which aided and 
sheltered the two leaders. These orders reached Mr. Shaw 
at Kyungyaung and were executed at once. The headmen 
of twelve villages who had been most active were arrested 
and sent into Bhamo, and at the same time monthly fines 
were imposed on their villages. Similar measures were 
adopted under Mr. Daniell and Mr. Hertz's supervision in the 
circles which had befriended Saw Yan Naing. But in spite 
of the efforts of the civil and military officers, who spared 
neither themselves nor their men, the capture of Saw Yan 
Naing and Hkam Leng was not effected. 

The open season was now drawing to a close. It seemed 
unlikely that further action on the lines followed hitherto 
would have much more success. The Chief Commissioner 


asked Brigadier-General Gatacre to visit the country with 
Mr. Shaw and see if they could advise any other measures 
more adapted to the nature of the case. Early in March, 
with a strong force, General Gatacre visited Si-u Ton Hon 
and Lweseng, north of the Shweli, and then went south- 
ward through Molo to Manton. He reported the country 
through which he passed to be quiet and the people to be 
submissive. Leaving a party of one hundred rifles, including 
forty Mounted Infantry, at Sipein with Mr. Shaw, to work 
the circles north of the Shweli, and Mr. Daniell with one 
hundred rifles at Manton to work south of that river, he 
withdrew the remainder of the troops. Proclamations were 
issued, with the Chief Commissioner's approval, warning the 
people of the consequences of opposing the troops and 
promising reduction or remission of the fines that had 
been imposed if the leaders of the revolt were surrendered. 
On the 28th of March the headmen gave Mr. Shaw a 
formal engagement to observe the terms of the proclama- 
tion, and he was able to withdraw the troops and return to 

Before the close of the operations the headman of Manton, 
who was one of the most obstinate adherents of Hkam Leng 
and had hitherto evaded arrest, was captured by the Kachins 
of the neighbouring circles and delivered to Mr. Daniell. 
He was deported to Mogok, the headquarters of the Euby 
Mines district. All this country, it should be remembered, 
known as the Myauk-Kodaung (the northern nine hills), 
estimated to contain 2,500 square miles, belongs to the 
Mong Mit State. On the withdrawal of the troops an 
official of that State was left in charge with a force of the 
Sawbwa's militia to keep order. Before the British troops 
left the Kachin Sawbwas entered into solemn engagements 
to keep the peace, to shut their hills against Saw Yan Naing, 
and to obey the Mong Mit Sawbwa to whom they are 

Some progress had been made by the middle of 1889 
towards the establishment of order. The root of the 
trouble, however, lay in the weakness of the Mong Mit 
administration. The most effectual measure undoubtedly 
would have been to place the State directly under the 
administration of a British officer. This method of meet- 


ing the difficulty was considered and set aside by the Chief 
Commissioner. In the earlier years of our rule there were 
strong reasons against absorbing any of these quasi-inde- 
pendent territories. It was our settled policy to maintain 
the Shan States in the position they enjoyed under the 
Burmese Government. The absorption of one of them 
would have alarmed the others just when we were striving 
to win their confidence and to bring them peacefully into 
the fold. For this reason mainly the Chief Commissioner 
refused to wipe out the Kale State, although in that case 
there were much stronger reasons for adopting this course 
(vide Chapter XXI., pp. 291, 292), and a desire not to depart 
from this line of policy led him to treat Wuntho with for- 
bearance. In the present instance, moreover, the Mong 
Mit chief was a minor; his ministers might be accused of 
incapacity but not of dishonesty or hostility. 

It was sought by other means to improve the administra- 
tion of Mong Mit. Saw Mong, who had been ejected by 
his enemies from his hereditary State of Yawnghe (vide 
pp. 142-143), at the time of the annexation was selected 
as a man of some power and of known loyalty and placed 
as regent in Mong Mit. The experiment did not succeed. 
Whether from want of sufficient governing power or because, 
not being their hereditary chief, he met with little support 
from the people, Saw Mong* failed, and in 1892 it was found 
necessary to place the State temporarily under the Deputy 
Commissioner of the Euby Mines, who governed it as part 
of his district until the year 1906, when the young Sawbwa 
came of age, and was entrusted with the administration of 
his State. He is doing well. Saw Yan Naing and Hkam 
Leng did not appear on the scene again. What has become 
of them is not known, and it is hardly necessary to inquire. 
It is hard to see what use they served except to try the 
endurance of our people and to harass the souls of their 

The narrative as regards Mong Mit and the territory once 
called Mong Leng, now known as the Upper Sinkan town- 
ship of Bhamo, has been brought down to the year 1889-90. 

* In justice to Saw Mong it should be noted that he has been 
restored to his own State of Yawnghwe, and has shown much adminis- 
trative power. 


It is now necessary to go back a year or two and deal with the 
range of hills known as Hpon Kan, lying about thirty miles 
to the south-east of Bhamo. The Kachins in these hills 
began to harass us from the first. Early in 1886 they 
attacked Sawadi on the Irrawaddy and exacted tribute from 
the Sinkan villages. They raided the open country near 
Bhamo several times, and on one occasion even made their 
way within our lines, killed some Indian soldiers and burnt 
some of the barracks. 

They were in reality not of great account. But the first 
attempts to deal with them were unfortunate, and after a 
time they began to be regarded with a seriousness quite 
unmerited. Two military expeditions went from Bhamo in 
1886, the objective being Karwan, the village of the most 
important chief of the tribe. The first expedition failed to 
reach the village and returned without doing anything. 
The second in the same year was well managed from a 
military point of view, and had forced its way against some 
opposition to a point close to Karwan, when the civil officer 
with the column, under some misunderstanding of the orders 
he had received from the Chief Commissioner, Sir Charles 
Bernard, stopped the advance, and the column retired with- 
out effecting the object for which it had been sent. The 
result was that the Karwan chieftain and his tribe were 
persuaded that the British were afraid to meet them. The 
chief would neither submit nor deign to visit the Deputy 
Commissioner, and his hill became a rendezvous for the 
restless and evil spirits around. Gatherings of Burmese and 
Chinese were reported, and it was apprehended at one time 
that they would join the rising in Upper Sinkan. They 
confined their action, however, to some small raids on 
insignificant villages below the hills. In the beginning of 
March, 1889, they again descended to the plains and 
stockaded themselves at a place named Kyawgaung, killed 
the headman and carried off his family. Some troops, sent 
out to cover a fatigue party building a post for the police at 
Mansi, about fifteen miles from Bhamo, were fired at from 
the jungle, and the village of Mansi, consisting of a few 
houses, was burnt by the Kachins, and two of the military 
police killed. 

The necessity of punishing the Hpon Kan Kachins for all 


their misdeeds had long been admitted. The country round 
Bhamo was kept by them in constant alarm, and the failure 
to deal with them led to excitement and want of confidence 
in the Bhamo bazaar, peculiarly ready to believe absurd 
rumours and subject to panic. More urgent matters had 
hitherto delayed action, and the garrison of Bhamo had been 
so weakened by the despatch of troops to Mogaung, that it 
could not afford men for other work. The Chief Com- 
missioner, therefore, was compelled to wait. Towards the 
end of March the return of troops from the north made it 
easier to find a force for the Hpon Kan business ; and the 
opportunity was at once taken of destroying this nest of 
hornets, or, to describe them more accurately, mosquitoes. 
Sir George White arranged a plan of operations at the Chief 
Commissioner's request, and the Commander-in-Chief of the 
Madras Army, being at the time in Upper Burma, gave his 
approval at once. 

The force was of such a strength as to ensure the com- 
plete reduction of the refractory tribes, it was hoped, without 
fighting. It consisted of two guns of a mountain battery, 
fifty sappers, two hundred and fifty British, two hundred 
and fifty Native Infantry, of whom one hundred were 
Gurkhas, and was commanded by Brigadier-General George 
Wolseley,* C.B. The civil officers with the force were Mr. 
Shaw, Deputy Commissioner of Bhamo, and Mr. Warry, of 
the Chinese Consular service, with whose name the reader 
is acquainted already (vide Chapter VII.). Kegarding the 
work of the expedition and the manner in which it 
should be carried out, the Chief Commissioner gave full 
instructions. The punishment of the Sawbwa of Hpon 
Kan and of his people, unless they made timely submission, 
was the duty imposed on the force. Notice was to be 
given to the Kachins that villages which helped the 
advance of the force would be protected ; villages from 
or near which any opposition was offered would be de- 
stroyed ; and on those Kachins who would not submit 
as much damage as possible would be inflicted by destruc- 
tion of their houses and property. In any case, the village 
where the Sawbwa had his residence was to be occupied ; 
and a fine in money and guns was to be exacted from 
* General Sir George Wolseley, G.C.B. 


him. The amount of the fine was to be fixed by Mr. Shaw 
with reference to the Sawbwa's means and to the amount 
of damage done in his raids. All captives held by the 
Kachins were to be surrendered. If this was impossible 
the fines payable by the custom of the country in such 
cases were to be exacted. In the event of the Sawbwa 
rejecting the terms his village was to be destroyed. 

In view of the former failures, strict orders were given 
that negotiations with the Sawbwa were not to be opened 
until Karwan, his capital village, was occupied by the 
British force. There, and nowhere else, were the terms 
of surrender to be settled. And it was added that " under 
no circumstances should Mr. Shaw advise the return of 
the force or the suspension of operations until the objects 
of the expedition should have been accomplished and the 
Sawbwa's village occupied." The Chief Commissioner 
added that "if it were possible the force should remain 
in the Sawbwa's village for some days so as to make his 
humiliation apparent to his people and to the neighbour- 
ing tribes." Orders were issued by the Commander-in- 
Chief of Madras, Sir Charles Arbuthnot, at the Chief 
Commissioner's request, for the troops to remain at 
Hpon Kan until the Chief Commissioner should be satis- 
fied that they could be withdrawn without bad results. 

The troops were divided into two columns, and, avoiding 
the direct road where the Kachins might be prepared to 
oppose us, they took different routes, and after very slight 
opposition Karwan was occupied. Our loss was two killed 
and three wounded. The Sawbwa did not make his appear- 
ance. Karwan and several other villages were therefore 
destroyed. On the 23rd of April the Sawbwa of Washa, 
a neighbouring village of another tribe, and the elders of 
Neinsin, one of the Hpon Kan villages, the headman of 
which was detained as a hostage in Bhamo, came forward 
and volunteered to bring in the headmen of Hpon Kan. 
They were given two days to make good their offer. 

On the 25th of April they came back with two of the 
Karwan elders, who accepted the terms imposed by the 
Deputy Commissioner, and promised to bring in the Sawbwa 
and other elders. The terms imposed were that fines for 
various murders and for the burning of Mansi should be 

1 1 

< I 

* C/2 


paid and fifty guns surrendered and captives restored. The 
money fine was paid in full and the guns delivered. The 
Chief Commissioner thereupon sanctioned the withdrawal 
of the troops, and the main body left Karwan on the 15th 
of May. Before the evacuation of the place the head- 
men of the Hpon Kan villages entered into a solemn 
agreement to cease from raiding. This promise has 
been kept. 

The objects of the expedition were thus accomplished, 
and these tribes did not give trouble again. 

While General Wolseley was at Karwan, Mr. Daly, the 
Superintendent of the Northern Shan States, accompanied 
by Mr. Sherriff, a representative of the Rangoon Chamber 
of Commerce, came to Nam Kham, on the left bank of the 
Shweli, the chief town of a small State subordinate to 
North Hsenwi. It was a good opportunity of joining hands 
and examining the road between Hpon Kan and Nam 
Khain.* Taking a sufficient escort, General Wolseley 
went by a circuitous route, to avoid a neck of Chinese 

* Nam Kham is the place where Mrs. Leslie Milne resided for fifteen 
months to gather materials for her charming book, " Shans at Home. 1 ' 
Writing of the Northern Shans States she says (page 186) : " Before the 
country was annexed to Great Britain, in 1886, each chief governed his 
own State, and the King of Burma was his overlord, to whom he was 
obliged to pay a heavy tribute. Burman officials terrorized over the 
Shans, and, owing to heavy and unjust taxation, the people were in a 
perpetual state of rebellion against their chiefs. The chiefs were con- 
stantly fighting amongst themselves, and were also trying to free 
themselves from the Burman rule." The condition of the country 
under Burma has been described in the historical chapter of her 
book,, written by the Bev. Wilbur Willis Cochrane, of the American 
Baptist Mission. She goes on: "I should like to draw attention to 
the unhappy state of the people under the invasion of the Kachins, who 
were slowly but surely taking possession of the hill country." Then 
Mrs. Milne quotes from "Parliamentary papers for 1859-76." It is 
sufficient to give here only a part of the quotation : " They (the Kachins) 
have ousted many Shan tribes, and wherever they appear they assume 
the same character of * lords of all they can reach/ only to be appeased 
by some form of ' blackmail.' . . . They inspire such terror that in the 
neighbouring plains no Burman or Shan will venture alone, or even in 
company, unarmed along the roads within their reach." "This state of 
affairs," Mrs. Milne concludes, " lasted until the British annexation, and 
our Government have worked what one might almost call a miracle ; for, 
the first time since the beginning of Shan history, peace prevails all over 
the country." 


territory which runs down between the Bhamo district 
and North Hsenwi. Leaving Karwan on the 2nd of May, 
Wolseley made Nam Kham on the 8th. After two days he 
returned to Bhamo with the troops. 

It may be added, before closing this chapter, that the 
Kachin tribes, whom it was necessary to subdue with such 
severity, have been for many years furnishing excellent 
recruits to the military police ; and Kachin detachments, 
officered by men of their own race, can now be entrusted 
with the charge of frontier outposts. 



THE seventeenth chapter told the story of the Sawlapaw 
expedition, which covered the time from the spring 
1888 to the second month of 1889. The western frontier 
of the province was the scene of equally interesting and 
much more difficult operations during the same period. 
When Upper Burma was annexed it is doubtful whether the 
difficulties, that might arise from the wild tribes which 
would become our neighbours, received much consideration. 
The Burmese Government thought very little of raids 
and disturbances on their frontiers. A British Administra- 
tion could not show the same indifference. 

Along the west of the Upper Burma districts of the 
Upper and the Lower Chindwin, of Pakokku, and of 
Minbu, lies a wild region of hills, inhabited by semi- 
savage tribes known to us as Chins. This mountainous 
region forms a wedge very long in comparison to its 
width. The broad end inarches with the south of Manipur, 
the Naga Cachar, and east Sylet hills, and the point rests 
on Cape Negrais. It is formed of high, narrow ridges 
and deep valleys, all running from north to south, and 
the people are split up into numerous tribes and clans 
speaking many different dialects. The only system of 
government was that of headmen of villages, or at the 
most of a small group of villages, and consequently nego- 
tiations with the Chins as a people were impossible. 
The principal tribes, with which the present narrative is 
concerned are, on the north, the Siyins, including the 
Sagyilains, and the Sokte tribe, including the Kanhows ; 



in the centre of the country the Tashons and Hakas 
(nicknamed by the Burmese Baungshes) ; and, southward 
of them, a number of tribes, Chin-boks among others, 
who are less formidable as border neighbours. 

Between the hills and the Chindwin, and forming an 
enclosure in the Upper Chindwin district, was the little 
Shan State of Kale". Like the States on the Shan plateau, 
it was governed by a Sawbwa who had a measure of 
independence. Owing to its position, practically, on the 
Chindwin, Kale was much more in subjection to the Govern- 
ment of Burma than the more distant Shan chiefships. It 
was, moreover, exposed to raids from the hill-men, and for 
a long time past had suffered much from the Siyin group, 
who were the most frequent and barbarous raiders, burning 
villages, slaughtering the peasants, and carrying off many 
as slaves into the mountains. 

At the time of the annexation the Sawbwa of Kale 
was an old man, by name Maung Ket, incapable of 
administering his country. On the 1st of January, 1887, 
the Chief Commissioner, finding that he could neither 
keep order within his territory nor protect it against 
enemies from without, caused him to be removed with 
some of his officials to Mandalay, and appointed his nephew 
to rule in his stead. In November, 1887, Maung Ket 
escaped from Mandalay with his followers and took refuge 
with the Tashon Chins, who in former years were on 
friendly terms with the Kale State. 

In March, 1887, the Deputy Commissioner of the Upper 
Chindwin (Captain Kaikes) met representatives of the 
Tashon tribes at Indin and explained to them that raiding 
must be stopped. His warnings seem to have influenced 
them ; for a whole year few villages were attacked. Several 
circumstances, however, had tended to unsettle the minds 
of these wild tribes. 

The ex- Sawbwa of Kale had a disturbing influence 
and endeavoured no doubt to persuade them to help him to 
regain his position. In the open season of 1887-8 a project 
for opening up the Chin country from the Bengal boundary 
in the west to the frontier of Burma proper on the east was 
started in India, prematurely so far as we were concerned. 
It was proposed that roads should be made through the 


hills, communications established, and the hill people sub- 
jugated. The phrase "from the Salween to the sea" was 
invented and had some effect. 

In the winter of 1887 Captain Kaikes with another 
officer went up the Myittha Kiver and arranged a meeting 
with the Tashon chiefs. Sonpek, the principal man of 
the tribe, came down from the mountains and met Captain 
Eaikes on the 3rd of January, 1888. He was courteous, 
even friendly in his manner, but guarded in his speech. 
His fears were excited by the close questioning (concerning 
the routes through his country eastward) to which he 
was subjected, so much so that he would hardly accept the 
presents offered to him by Captain Kaikes. The meeting, 
however, ended in outward friendliness on both sides. No 
action was taken by the Government towards entering or 
approaching the Tashon country, and nothing indicated 
that the Chins had been seriously alarmed. 

Other events followed which added to their uneasiness. 
Captain Kaikes had visited Indin in March, 1887, and had 
found two persons in the ruling Sawbwa' s service whose 
intrigues were causing trouble in the Kale State. One 
was Maung Tok San, the other Maung Tha Dun, styled 
" Chingeh," or " Minister for the Chins." These two men 
were removed by Captain Kaikes from Kale and confined 
at Alon. After some months they were released on security. 
They made use of their freedom to escape to the Chin 
Hills, where they joined the old Sawbwa who had pre- 
ceded them, and helped him to excite the tribes. 

It happened at the same time that part of the Pakokku 
district on the Lower Chindwin was very much dis- 
turbed. The guerilla leader, known as the Shwegyobyu 
Prince, had been able to collect a considerable following 
and to raise a small revolt (see Chapter VIII., pp. 84, 85). 
Expelled from the low country, he also sought safety with 
the Tashons. The arrival of a Burman Prince, whether 
genuine or pretender, did not matter, a man with a certain 
amount of prestige, a good deal of energy, and a bitter 
hatred of the foreigners, gave the Tashons heart, and they 
determined to take action. On the 4th and 5th of May 
a body of Sonpek's Tashons, numbering some hundreds, 
descended on Indin, made the Sawbwa prisoner, and took 



him to Chingaing (a village near the foot of the hills, 
where he had interviews with Sonpek and the Shwegyobyu 
Prince. He promised to join them in their resistance to 
the British, and on that condition was allowed to return 
to Indin. The Sawbwa, however, kept faith with us. 
Getting some men together, he sent them to attack the 
Shwegyobyu Prince in Chingaing, and despatched urgent 
messengers to the Deputy Commissioner (Mr. Koss) asking 
for assistance. 

This sudden raid by the Chins on the Kal6 State, and 
their readiness to assist a pretender like the Shwegyobyu 
Prince, had not been foreseen, and took the authorities by 
surprise. The messages received at headquarters were 
alarming. Eleven hundred Tashon Chins were reported 
to have surrounded Indin and carried off the Sawbwa. 
Several thousands were said to be on the warpath ; five 
hundred had occupied Indin, three hundred were marching 
on Taungdwin, three hundred on Kalewa all these of the 
Tashon tribe. Of the Siyins, five hundred were making for 
Kalemyo, six hundred threatening the Kabaw Valley, and 
so on. The numbers were obviously much exaggerated. 
Nevertheless, as the men on the spot thought the situation 
serious, measures of precaution had to be taken. A force 
under Major G-leig, consisting of 100 rifles, Cheshire 
Kegiment, 250 Madras Infantry (15th) and two guns, were 
sent up the Chindwin Eiver in steamers to Kalemyo. At 
the same time 150 Mounted Infantry (100 British, 50 
Native), accompanied by Captain Eyre, the Deputy Com- 
missioner of the district, were despatched from Pakokku, 
vid Pauk and Gangaw, to take the raiders in the rear. 
A party of military police from the Kabaw Valley Battalion, 
with two guns, were moved down to Kalewa. 

These dispositions sufficed to restore order for the time. 
Major Gleig's force disembarked at Indin on the 24th 
of May ; Captain Eyre with the Mounted Infantry was at 
Chingaing, a few miles from Indin, on the 26th, the 
rifles and guns from the Kabaw Valley arrived at Kalemyo 
about the same date. The party, accompanied by Captain 
Eyre, marched up through the Yaw country without 
meeting with any opposition. They covered 152 miles in 
eight days and hoped to surprise the Shwegyobyu, who, 


with a mixed following of Burmans and Chins, had 
continued to hold Chingaing; but as soon as the alarm 
was given by his scouts he fired the village and escaped 
into the hills. The enemy were encountered only on one 
occasion. On the 17th of May a police officer making a 
night march with 60 rifles of the military police (Indians) 
was attacked by a body of men under Bo Saga, a noted 
dacoit leader. The men lately enrolled were unsteady and 
fell back, and the party retired, losing two men wounded. 
The officer reported that he had found the villages on his 
march deserted and that the insurgents were collecting 
men and arms. Several Burman villages had been burnt ; 
men, women, and children had been killed, and many 
carried off into the hills. The measures taken may seem 
in the recital out of proportion to the danger. But it 
was by no means a false alarm. 

The rains had now set in, and the Kal& and Yaw country 
in that season does not tempt the hill-men to raid. They 
returned to their mountains. The disturbances ceased 
almost as suddenly as they had begun. The troops returned 
to their quarters, a guard of military police being left at 
Indin to protect the Sawbwa. 

Although order had been restored for the present, it 
was evident to the Chief Commissioner that the Chins 
had yielded to the climate rather than to fear. They had 
escaped punishment ; and as they had burnt villages 
and returned home with many captives the campaign in 
their eyes must have seemed successful. 

It was necessary to protect the Yaw Valley which 
was our territory, and the Kale country, the Sawbwa of 
which was our dependent and too weak to help himself. 
A proposal was made by the local officer to simplify matters 
by taking the Kale State under direct administration. 
It was argued that as we were obliged to defend Kale, 
we might as well administer the country and receive the 
revenues. Looking, however, to its effect on the minds 
of the people, this appeared to be a mistaken policy. Every 
Sawbwa in the Shan States might have been degraded 
on similar grounds. The Kale man, so far as was known, 
had not been disloyal. In the early part of 1887 he 
had acted well, and in the present affair he had not acted 


badly. If he had not been well informed regarding the 
movements of the Chins, he was no worse than the British 
officers in the district. He was suddenly surrounded 
and seized. In procuring his liberty by consenting to 
join the insurgents he took the best course, or what 
he thought the best course, for himself. He lost no time in 
sending information to the nearest officer, and he attacked 
the rebel gathering with his own men. To remove him 
under such circumstances would have been unfair, and 
might have alarmed others whose fears it was not good 
policy to arouse. 

It was decided, therefore, by the Chief Commissioner not 
to absorb Kale, but to leave a military or police guard at 
or near Indin, with supports at Kalewa. An ultimatum 
was sent to the Tashons, ordering them to deliver up the 
Shwegyobyu Prince and other leading rebels, as well as 
the leaders of the Chins who captured the Sawbwa of Kal6 
and raided his villages. On the 21st of July, 1888, the Chief 
Commissioner (in a minute submitted to the Government 
of India) recounted the events which have been narrated, 
and gave his opinion that there could be no peace until 
the Chin tribes had been subdued. He asked permission 
to take the matter in hand as soon as the dry weather 
set in, and to subjugate the Chins once for all. 

The first step in the plan of campaign was to occupy 
in force and permanently the difficult country lying below 
the Chin Hills, and to bring it under efficient administrative 

For this purpose the Chief Commissioner in June, 1887, 
asked the Government of India to raise a frontier battalion 
in India for the Yaw Valley. It was assumed, in framing 
the plan of campaign, that this battalion would have been 
ready before the rains ended, and that it would have been pos- 
sible to hold this district firmly. To have attacked the Chins 
and to have withdrawn the troops would have been to 
leave the villages in the plains exposed to the vengeance 
of the hill-men. 

The next step was to march an expedition into the 
Chin Hills. The force was to be divided into three parts. 
The Siyin and Sagyilain tribe was to be invaded from the 
Kale Valley by a force of the Kabaw Valley military police, 




brought down for the duty. The Tashon country was to 
be entered simultaneously by a column of regular troops 
with two guns, having its base at Sihaung on the Myittha 
Eiver, to which place the men, their baggage, and supplies, 
could be brought by water. At the same time a force 
collected at Gangaw was to threaten the Yokwa Haka 
and Thatta Chins, to prevent them from helping the 

The subjugation of the Tashons was judged to be the 
most formidable task. The object was to reach and, if 
necessary, to destroy their chief village in Burmese Ywama. 
There were no roads, only difficult hill-paths. Hill-coolies 
and mules were necessary for transport. There were no 
supplies in the country. The work, therefore, would have 
to be taken in hand leisurely, the road cleared and made 
practicable for mules, supply-stations established, and 
nothing left to chance. A slow, determined advance, it 
was held, would have a greater moral effect than an 
attempt by forced marches to surprise the enemy. If it 
were possible a simultaneous attack should be made from 
the Arakan or Chittagong Hills on the west to take the 
Tashons in the rear. 

In reply to the ultimatum sent to them (see above), 
the Tashons released the captives taken in the raids on 
the 18th and 19th of May, but declined to give up the 
Shwegyobu Prince and other Burman rebels. They put 
forward counter-claims on their own part, and threatened 
further raids if their demands were not complied with. 

In August an order was sent to the chief of the Siyin 
and Sagyilain tribes to surrender the captives taken by 
them from several villages in the preceding April and 
July, and they were warned that if they did not comply 
with this demand punishment would follow. 

Early in September raiding began again. While the 
Government of India were considering the Chief Commis- 
sioner's proposals the Chins acted. They put their threats 
into execution. A village near Sihaung was raided by the 
Tashons on the 17th of September, and an alliance was 
formed by a large number of subdivisions of the Haka 
tribe. On the 18th of September a village in the Gangaw 
circle of the Pakokku district was attacked, it was reported, 


by Tashons. It was clear to the local officers that the 
anticipation of serious trouble would be realized. The 
Government of India were pressed, therefore, to allow the 
immediate enlistment of the military police levy for the 
protection of the Chin frontier, which had been asked for 
early in June. In October the reply of the Governor-General 
in Council to the Chief Commissioner's minute of July 21st 
was received. It was a refusal to sanction the proposed 

About this time the local officers reported that Sonpek, 
the Tashon leader, was inclined to give up the Burman 
refugees, but that he would not surrender the old Sawbwa of 
Kale. It was just possible that through the latter' s in- 
fluence Sonpek's inclination might be translated into 
action. The old Sawbwa, therefore, was informed that he 
would be pardoned for his part in the disturbances if he 
brought about the surrender of the Burman rebels by the 
Tashons. At the same time, as a precaution against the 
attacks which were anticipated, Kalewa and Sihaung were 
garrisoned, and endeavours made to prevent the Chins from 
getting their usual supplies of salt and other necessaries 
from the plains. 

The country lying between the Chin mountains and the 
Chindwin and Irrawaddy Kivers is, speaking generally, what 
would be called in India "terai"; covered with large 
stretches of forest and intersected by numerous water- 
courses and streams, with a heavy rainfall and intense heat. 
It is very unhealthy and a difficult country for troops to 
work in. The main river in this track is the Myittha, 
which rises from the southern part of the Chin mountains ; 
it runs almost due north for a hundred miles or more, and 
then turning suddenly to the east for fifteen or twenty miles 
joins the Chindwin at Kalewa. During its course northward 
it receives by many affluents the drainage of the eastern 
slopes of the Chindwin. Three ranges of thickly wooded 
hills, called the Pondaung Eanges, run parallel to the Myittha 
on the east, with intervening valleys which are fertile and 
cultivated. East of the third range of hills lies the Pagyi 
township of the Lower Chindwin district. In the west of 
this township, bordering on the hills above mentioned, 
is the country known as Shitywagyaung " the valley of the 


eight villages " of which the most important is Thitkyi- 
daing. West of this village lie Saga and Kyaw. The 
country lying between the Myittha River and the range of 
hills on the east is known as the Yaw country, in the 
southern part of which is the Yaw Kiver, which rises in the 
same hills as the Myittha, but, turning in a south-easterly 
direction, makes its way to the Irrawaddy below Pakokku, 
the river-port of the district in which the Yaw country lies. 
Gangaw is the chief village in the Yaw country, and is 
more than 100 miles from Pakokku. The road to it passes 
through Pauk at about the twentieth mile, and the Yaw 
River, which has to be crossed, is unfordable when in flood. 

In 1888 the country about Thitkyidaing had not been 
thoroughly reduced, chiefly on account of its unhealtbiness 
and the scarcity of civil officers. Mr. Carter and Colonel 
Symons worked this tract in 1887-8, and brought it to 
order after the disturbances raised by the Shwegyobyu 
Prince, in which Major Kennedy and Captain Beville, 
Assistant Commissioner, met their deaths. Many of the 
dacoit leaders were captured or killed at that time, but the 
country was not thoroughly controlled. 

There was so much to do in the early years of the 
annexation and so few to do it, that outlying tracts like 
the Yaw country were neglected for a time. This tract had, 
it is believed, even in the King's time, been left very much 
to itself. In 1887 the Deputy Commissioner of Pakokku 
(Captain Eyre) visited it. The people received him well. 
An arrangement the best possible at the time was made 
with the local officials, who undertook to pay the revenue 
and to be responsible for the order and protection of the 
territory. Hitherto the people had defended themselves 
against the Chins ; and, to encourage them, five or six 
hundred muskets were distributed to villagers who in the 
opinion of the Burman officials would make good use of 
them. In some cases a subsidy was given to pay for the 
maintenance of a rude militia or irregular police. This 
arrangement had worked well until the time of the events 
now to be told, and it had the recommendation of economy 
in money and men when economy was more than usually 

The refusal of the Government of India to allow an expe- 


dition into the Chin country in no way absolved the Chief 
Commissioner from the duty of protecting the people 
against these savages, for which purpose he had sufficient 
means at his disposal. He therefore took counsel with the 
Major-General commanding in Upper Burma (Sir George 
White) as to the measures necessary. It was resolved to 
move a body of troops up from Pakokku through Gangaw 
along the whole line of the frontier subject to raids, 
and to establish a chain of posts, Tilin, Gangaw, Kan, 
Sihaung, Kambale, and Indin. General Faunce, who com- 
manded the military district in which the disturbed tracts 
were situated, was given the control of the operations. 
Major Raikes, who was at the time in charge of the Lower 
Chindwin, and had had more intercourse with the Chins 
than any other of the civil officers, was associated with 
General Faunce and entrusted with the political duties. A 
force about 500 strong was ordered to move up along the 
frontier with General Faunce, while three companies of 
Gurkhas were to be sent by river to Kalewa. No prepa- 
rations were made for attacking the Chin strongholds in the 
hills, as the Government in India had forbidden it. Raiding 
parties were to be followed up and punished whenever 
and so far as it might be possible. 

The Chins began to act before these arrangements had 
been completed. Reports of raiding came tumbling in fast. 
On the 14th of October Homalin was attacked by followers 
of the Shwegyobyu, assisted by Chins from the Tashon 
country. On the 17th Chitpauk, in the Kabaw Valley, was 
raided by Siyins, who killed seven and carried off forty-five 
villagers. On the 20th of October Kambale was surrounded, 
two villagers were murdered and six kidnapped. On the 
22nd of October the Siyins attacked Kantha, north of Kan, 
and made off with thirty-two villagers. On the 29th of 
October a large body of the hill-men came down on Kalemyo, 
the principal village in Kale. They burnt part of it, killed 
three of the villagers, wounded four, and carried forty into 
slavery. On the same day Khampat, in the Kabaw Valley, 
was raided by a party of Kanhows, seven men were killed 
and twenty-seven taken away. 

These occurrences gave the Chief Commissioner a text 
for again preaching the need of punishing these unruly 


mountaineers ; and, meanwhile, such measures as were 
possible and within his powers were taken. On the 9th 
of November the Government of India intimated that they 
were inclined to reconsider the proposal of the Burman 
Administration. On the I6th their orders came, giving 
the Chief Commissioner a free hand to do what he could 
with the troops at his disposal, and with the transport to be 
had within the province. 

General Faunce had left Pakokku on the 14th of 
November. Captain Eyre, the Deputy Commissioner of 
Pakokku, went with him. His orders were to give all 
the help possible to the General, especially in procuring 
transport. He was to retain charge of the Pakokku 
district, and was not to go beyond its limits. The 
force accompanying General Faunce consisted of 356 men 
of the 10th Madras Infantry, 49 Mounted Infantry of the 
10th Bengal Infantry, and 50 lances of the 1st Madras 
Lancers. As they went forward posts were established 
at Chaungu, 7J miles north of Pauk, at Tilin, at Gangaw, 
and at Kan on the Myittha, 20 miles north of Gangaw, and 
at Sihaung, between Kan and Indin. 

The garrisons at Gangaw and at Kan were strong, 
170 rifles at each place, all of the 10th Regiment Madras 
Infantry. At Sihaung the strength was 250 rifles. 
Hitherto, as has been explained before, the task confided 
to General Faunce was to protect the frontier, to stop 
raids, and, if possible, to pursue and account for the 
raiding parties. 

The sanction given by the Government of India on the 
16th of November completely altered the character of the 
movement. It became primarily a punitive expedition 
against the Chins. The 1st Bengal Mountain Battery, 
77 strong, with 6 guns, 58 Madras sappers, and three 
companies of the 44th Gurkhas, were sent up by steamer 
to Kalewa; and by the time the General arrived at Kambale, 
which he made his headquarters and the base of his 
expedition, he had a force of twelve hundred men (650 
being Gurkhas) under his orders, besides between 200 and 
300 military police (Indians), who held Indin and Kalewa, 
and were placed at his disposal. 

As a consequence of the change of policy, transport 


became an urgent question in fact the main question. 
The military authorities asked for two thousand coolies, 
men that could carry loads in the hills. The Deputy 
Commissioner, Captain Eyre, believed that he could get 
the men, and at the instance of the General commanding, 
the Chief Commissioner consented to allow Captain Eyre 
to go with this large body of coolies if he could enlist 
them, and an officer was ordered up to Pakokku to take 
charge of the district and to set Captain Eyre free for 
this purpose. This fact is mentioned, as it explains in 
a measure how the Deputy Commissioner's attention was 
somewhat distracted from his immediate duty the adminis- 
tration of the district for which he was responsible. 

Captain Eyre accompanied General Faunce as far as 
Kan, near the northern boundary of the Pakokku district. 
He then left him, meaning to return to Gangaw for the 
purpose of collecting coolies. He had information of 
several gatherings of dacoits, under known leaders, in the 
hills north-east of Gangaw, and at Mozo, north of Kan, 
and some time was spent in looking after them. He 
heard of a body of dacoits in position in the bed of a 
stream, between two thickly wooded banks in a strongly 
stockaded camp. The dacoits were taken by surprise, 
and their camp was rushed and destroyed. Pursuit was 
impossible, owing to the nature of the country, and there 
was nothing to be done except to return to Kan. The 
enemy harassed the retiring party all the way, and our 
men had continually to turn and drive them off. 

Next day reports came in that the villagers were joining 
the dacoits, and that a body of some hundreds were collected 
at Chaungzon. After arranging with the officer command- 
ing at Kan that a party should be sent to attack this 
gathering, Captain Eyre returned to Gangaw to collect 
the coolies wanted by General Faunce. He reached 
Gangaw on the llth, and busied himself with this duty. 
On the 16th of December, hearing that three of the dacoit 
leaders were in considerable strength at Kunze, north-east 
of Gangaw, a force of 105 rifles, 10th Madras Infantry, 
attacked and dispersed them, but without inflicting serious 
loss. From that date the garrison of Gangaw may be 
said to have done nothing. They sat still and allowed the 
rising to gather strength. 


Seeing the dacoit bands active and gathering strength, 
while the British officers and the garrison were apparently 
helpless, the villagers, to whom guns had been given, the 
quasi-militia men amongst the foremost, joined the 
insurgents. It was another object-lesson in the folly of 
arming the Burmese peasantry, and the still greater folly 
of allowing an Asiatic foe to think you are afraid to attack 
him. The town of Gangaw was defended by a stockade 
of teak. The military post had been so placed as to rest 
on this stockade, and would have become untenable if 
the enemy had succeeded in occupying the town. The 
garrison of 170 men had therefore to defend the town 
stockade, nearly a mile in extent. It was not considered 
strong enough to hold the town and at the same 
time to move against the hostile bands, who had now 
gathered in considerable numbers, and were occupying a 
village called Shonshe on the south, and three villages on 
the north-west. On the 24th of December a convoy with 
supplies left Gangaw for Kan, which was the next post to 
the north. It was fired upon soon after leaving Gangaw, 
and lost two men killed and two wounded. From Kan this 
party went on to Sihaung, from which place it returned. 
It was again attacked on the march back, between Sihaung 
and Kan, and lost heavily. Meanwhile the enemy, who had 
been strengthened from the peasantry around, attacked 
Gangaw on the 30th of December, and again on the 31st. 
They were reckoned to number 500 men, but their attacks 
inflicted no loss on the garrison. 

Some sort of council of war, in which both civil and 
military officers joined, now took place, and it was held 
that if a determined attack were made on Gangaw or Kan 
it must succeed. The garrison of Kan, therefore, was 
ordered into Gangaw, and they obeyed the order, to say 
the least, without reluctance. They met with no opposition 
on the way, but they brought with them reports of the loss 
suffered by the detachment which went to Sihaung, which 
helped further to depress the dispirited garrison. 

In Gangaw itself, although it was assaulted daily until 
the 6th of January, when a relieving force arrived, there 
were no casualties. The enemy was contemptible, and 
even his numbers were, it is believed, exaggerated. The 


danger was created by the inaction of the defence rather 
than by the number or the enterprise of the assailants. 

The Chief Commissioner was in Rangoon during the 
early days of December. The first news of the trouble 
came to him in a telegram from Major Eaikes, who was 
on special duty on the Chin frontier ; it was dated the 
14th of December, from Gaungu on the Myittha, and was 
received in Rangoon on the 17th. It reported the attack 
made on the dacoit camp by Captain Eyre on the 9th of 
December, and recommended that troops should be sent 
against this gang. In reply, Major Raikes was reminded 
that all the troops and military police on the frontier were 
under the General's orders and were close to the scene of 
action, while it would take a fortnight or more to send 
troops up from Pakokku. On the 20th of December a 
second telegram came from Major Raikes, reporting the 
affair at Chaungzon on the 13th of December. He 
explained that General Faunce had ordered the officer 
commanding at Gangaw to deal effectively with these 
gatherings; that two attempts, both unsuccessful, had 
been made to disperse the band near Chaungzon ; that 
a third attack was about to be made, but the force 
ordered to make it could only be spared for a few days, 
as the General wanted all his men for frontier patrols 
and for the expedition into the hills. He therefore pressed 
for reinforcements as necessary for the destruction of these 

Orders were then given for a small column of mili- 
tary police and troops to inarch up at once from 
Pakokku. The Deputy Commissioner of the Lower 
Chindwin was told to send all the police he could spare 
across from Alon to the disturbed area. The state of 
things was communicated by telegram to Sir George White, 
who was on the Chindwin on his way to Kalewa, and the 
despatch of reinforcements from Pakokku was suggested. 

On Christmas Day the first reports from Captain Eyre 
himself came in. He described the insurgents as increasing 
in numbers rapidly, and begged for more troops. This was 
the first intimation received by the Chief Commissioner 
that the local officers were unable to cope with the rising 
and that it was of a serious character. The Commissioner 


was thereupon ordered to Pakokku to hasten the despatch 
of the small column previously mentioned ; and lest there 
should be difficulty in finding Sir George White, the 
officer commanding at Myingan was asked to get a force 
ready for immediate despatch. On the 26th a message 
came from Sir George White, dated from Mingin on the 
Chindwin, that he had ordered the despatch of a force 
200 strong from Pakokku via Pauk, and Major Kingston 
with 250 rifles, troops and military police, from A16n, to 
hasten to Gangaw. At the same time Colonel Macgregor, 
with 150 rifles of the 44th Gurkhas, who were with 
General Faunce, was ordered down from Sihaung to 
Gangaw. Meanwhile the Chief Commissioner had sent 
up 125 rifles of the Pakokku military police, under Lieu- 
tenant Phillips, by forced marches by the Kyaw Valley 
route. Major Kingston and Lieutenant Phillips joined 
hands at Kyaw on the 2nd of January. On the 6th they 
attacked the insurgents in Shonshe, south of Gangaw, and 
drove them out with considerable loss. At the same 
moment Colonel Macgregor with his Gurkhas fell upon 
the bands who were occupying a village north of Gangaw, 
and handled them roughly. No stand was made by these 
people, who had kept nearly 350 Madras Infantry shut up 
in Gangaw. 

The duty of restoring order in the Yaw country was 
entrusted to Colonel W. P. Symons, who had displayed 
great ability in dealing with dacoit gangs in Sagaing. He 
was assisted by Mr. D. Eoss, as civil officer in charge of 
the district. The country was cleared of dacoits, partially 
disarmed, and reduced to order. The rank and file of the 
insurgents were allowed to return to their homes, the guilty 
villages being punished collectively by fines. The Yaw 
country has been peaceful ever since. 

The Gangaw episode was, in the language of the Boer 
War, "a regrettable incident." The garrison at the outset 
may have been unable to face the insurgents in the field, 
but, after the Kan detachment had been called in, it 
numbered 340 rifles a sufficient number of disciplined 
troops to deal with a much larger number of dacoits, a 
mere rabble, armed, when they were armed at all, with old 
muzzle-loading rifles, or still more ancient muskets. The 


incident was not, however, barren of good results. It sufficed 
to convince even the most devoted admirer of " the old 
coast army" that a portion of the Madras troops was unfit 
for active service a fact which had more than once been 
brought to notice by the Chief Commissioner. The dis- 
banding of the regiment responsible for the failure was the 
beginning of a large measure of army reform that had 
been too long delayed. Hence these events, trivial in them- 
selves, may be worth recording. 

The narrative may now return to the central business, 
namely, the expedition against the Chins. 

General Faunce arrived at Kambate and assumed com- 
mand of the operations on the 3rd of December. On the 
7th the fighting began. A working-party sent to establish 
a post between Kambale and the foot of the hills was fired 
on, and Lieutenant Palmer, K.E., who commanded the 
Madras Sappers, was killed. On the 10th of December a 
strong body of Chins of the Tashon tribe suddenly issued 
from the hills, and attacked the camp of the 42nd Gurkhas 
at Sihaung, and a simultaneous attack was made on the 
village. They paid dearly for their audacity. The Gurkhas 
drove them off, followed them up, and inflicted heavy loss 
on them. On the same date Indin, the capital of the Kal& 
Sawbwa, was fired into, and the military police post of 
Kangyi, twenty miles north of Kalemyo, was attacked. 

It had been intended to limit the operations of the 
season 1888-9 to the Siyin and Sagyilaing tribes. In 
dealing with savage people it is not possible to lay down 
a line beyond which you will not step. In view, therefore, 
of the probable necessity of taking action against the 
Tashons, 200 rifles of the Norfolk Kegiment, 50 Madras 
sappers, and the remaining companies of the 42nd Gurkhas 
from their quarters at Bernardmyo, were ordered to the front. 
Sir George White himself arrived at Kalewa on the 29th of 
December, but left to General Faunce the immediate com- 
mand of the force in the field. Matters were further 
complicated by the appearance of another section of the 
Chins. In October, a village in the Kubo Valley had 
suffered from a raid by Kanhows. A large body of this 
tribe came down in December and attacked Kangyi, north 
of Kalemyo. It was held by military police, who repulsed 


Amber Mines 


them. Further investigations made it clear that these 
Kanhows were so closely related by position and ties of 
kindred to the Siyins and Sagyilaings as to make them 
indistinguishable. A proposal, therefore, to include them in 
the operations against the latter was sanctioned. It was 
proposed also to send at the same time a column to Minle- 
daung, on the borders of the Tashon country, but this was 
not found convenient and was dropped. 

An ultimatum was now sent to the Siyins and Sagyi- 
laings, demanding the restoration of all their captives, the 
surrender of a certain number of fire-arms, and the payment of 
a fine. In default of the acceptance of these terms, General 
Faunce was told to destroy the villages of the tribes and by 
a rigorous blockade to prevent food supplies from reaching 
the hills. During December and January preparations for 
the advance occupied the attention of the General and his 
staff. Transport coolies were obtained from Manipur. A 
road was begun, and step by step the base of operations 
advanced towards the goal of the expedition, the main 
village of the Siyins, called Koset by them. 

On the 23rd of January, 1889, Sir George White and 
General Faunce made a reconnaissance to the summit of 
the Letha Range, to an altitude of 8,200 feet above sea- 
level. The force then advanced steadily up the hills in the 
face of a continued but unsuccessful opposition ; the 
sappers, assisted by coolies, making a road as the men 
climbed up, and constructing rough stockades in which the 
men slept and rations were stored. The advance was 
obstructed by formidable stockades, generally held by the 
enemy, but not firmly defended. Day and night the Chins 
ambushed our men, taking advantage of every suitable 
position. The following telegram from Sir George White 
to the Chief Commissioner, dated the 28th of January, 
1889, describes one of the skirmishes : " Enemy yesterday 
attacked our working-party on road above this, and held 
our covering-party, 40 British and 100 Gurkhas, from 9 till 
2, when I arrived and ordered their positions to be charged. 
We carried all, driving them entirely away, getting off 
ourselves wonderfully cheaply only one Norfolk danger- 
ously wounded. Enemy in considerable numbers, using 
many rifles and plenty of ammunition. They fired at least 


1,000 rounds, standing resolutely until actually charged, 
even trying to outflank us. Their loss probably about 
eight or ten, but they were carried down the Khuds at 
once. Most difficult enemy to see or hit I ever fought." 

On the 4th of February the village of Koset was reached, 
and after a slight resistance, occupied. It was fired by the 
Siyins before they retreated, and was reduced to ashes before 
our men reached it. The enemy harassed the camp every 
night, firing into it from the higher ground, and at several 
villages they ineffectually opposed us. They opened com- 
munications at one time with the political officer, but as 
they continued ambushing and firing on the troops and 
refused to surrender the Burman captives, it was evident 
that they were fooling us. Step by step, therefore, the 
advance was made good, until the Siyin territory had been 
overrun, and by the 5th of March all their villages were 
in our hands. The site of the village of Toklaing was 
chosen as the headquarters of the Chin expeditionary force, 
and its name was changed to " Fort White," and a post 
was built there with materials taken from the village. 

The chastisement inflicted on the Siyins had some little 
effect on the Kanhows, who had made similarly insincere 
overtures. On the 24th of February a deputation of them 
came to Fort White, bringing presents and asking that their 
villages might be spared. With the Chief Commissioner's 
approval, terms were offered to them, namely : to surrender 
all the captives in their hands, and a portion of their 
fire-arms ; to pay a fine of 1,000 rupees, and to engage to 
pay a light annual tribute as a token of submission. Ten 
days were given them to consider and accept these terms. 
On the 6th of March they returned, bringing six of the 
captives and presents, but failed to comply with the other 
conditions. Their presents, therefore, were refused, and on 
the 8th of March General Faunce moved against them. 
The force was actively engaged against them until the 20th 
of March, when it returned to Fort White. The operations 
were well planned and executed, and imposed great labour 
on the troops, as the mountain tracks were most precipitous 
and difficult. Most of the villages were destroyed, in many 
cases by the Chins themselves, and large stores of grain 
and other food-supplies were taken. April was occupied 


in negotiations with the Tashons, and the troops 

As it was ascertained that the Siyins had built a new 
Gurkha village at Tartan, which had been taken in the 
earlier operations, a force consisting of 65 rifles of the 
2nd Battalion Norfolk Regiment and 60 rifles of the 42nd 
Gurkha Light Infantry was sent to drive the Chins out. 
The village was strongly stockaded and obstinately defended. 
One of the two stockades was taken. The loss on our side 
was one officer (Second-Lieutenant Michel) and two men 
of the Norfolk Regiment killed, one Gurkha killed, and 
two officers and six men wounded. In this action Captain 
Le Quesne, of the Army Medical Corps, showed conspicuous 
courage in attending to Lieutenant Michel, and was awarded 
the Victoria Cross. The troops retired to Fort White 
without completing their work. A few days later they 
returned and destroyed the village and stockades un- 

The rains, which begin early in this region, had now set 
in, and active operations ceased. In this business, from 
first to last, including the engagements of Gangaw and 
Kan, our loss amounted to 26 killed and 54 wounded ; 
the enemy's loss can only be conjectured it was prob- 
ably light. The main object now was to secure the 
peaceful submission of the Tashons. Towards the end of 
March they showed an inclination to parley, and sent letters 
purporting to come from six of their chiefs. It was decided 
to give them as much time as possible to consider the terms 
offered to them, and in the meanwhile no movement was 
to be made against their villages or certain settlements of 
the Kanhows which were within, or close to, the borders 
of the Tashon tribe. One of the Kale officials, Maung 
Nwa, was selected to take a letter to the chiefs, giving 
them twenty-one days to decide on their course of 

Maung Nwa succeeded in reaching Falam, the Ywama, or 
mother- village, of the Tashons. On the 18th of April he 
returned to Fort White, bringing letters from the chiefs 
and from the ex-Sawbwa of Kale. A minor chief accom- 
panied him, and on a subsequent day another Tashon chief 
came in with messages to Major Raikes. This beginning 



of personal intercourse was encouraging, and on our part 
concessions were made in respect of the surrender of the 
Burmese refugees, while the release of the captives was 
insisted on. Later on some overtures were made on the 
part of the Siyins and a few captives delivered to our 
officers. On the 2nd of May men from the Kanhow tribe 
came in ; they brought the fine of Rs. 1,000, which had been 
imposed on them, and the tribute, and tendered the sub- 
mission of their tribe, but no captives. They clung to 
their captives as to life. Later on, however, they released 
some and brought them to Fort White. It was believed 
at the time that they had given up all ; it was discovered 
later that they had held back a considerable number. The 
Siyins surrendered seven captives ; but they made no further 
steps towards submission. At the end of the open season 
of 1888-9 the situation was this : Severe punishment 
had been inflicted on the offending tribes, and 114 of 
the Burmans carried off by raiding parties had been 
recovered. The Siyins and Sagyilaings, notwithstanding 
the destruction of their villages, had not given in; the 
Kanhows had made a show of submission, and had partly 
complied with our terms ; the Tashons had exchanged 
messages, but had given no proof of penitence. 

It was necessary to show the Chins that the arm of the 
British Government was long enough to reach them even 
in their mountain fortresses, and that our soldiers could 
remain in their country. It was decided, therefore, to 
keep the troops at Fort White during the rains and to 
prevent the Chins, who had not submitted, from rebuilding 
their villages or cultivating their fields. A rigorous blockade 
of the routes from their hills to the plains was ordered, in 
the hope that it would help to overcome their obstinacy. 
Nothing more could be done until the season for taking the 
field again came round. 

General Faunce's column had done all that men could do 
in a very difficult and unknown country against a very 
difficult enemy, pronounced by a man who had seen some 
fighting to be " the most difficult enemy to see or hit I ever 
fought." The expedition was late in starting. The reason 
has been explained. That the next season's operations 
were more successful with less severity is no reproach to 


the General commanding the first expedition or to the 
political officer. Their work had made our power felt, and 
had given us some knowledge of the people. If a garrison 
had not been established at Fort White in 1888-9, it 
would have been scarcely possible to have acted against the 
Tashons on the plan which ensured success in 1889-90. 


and his men had worked hard 

and well. By May, 1888, the advance had been made 
good as far as Toklaing, called Fort White. But although 
that place was only a short distance (thirty miles) from 
Falam, the main settlement of the Tashons, we had not 
been able to reach it. This tribe was known to be the 
most numerous and the most influential of the Chins in 
these parts, and their subjugation was essential. 

The character of the country which was the scene of 
operations has been described in the preceding chapter. 
For a successful effort to conquer it much and timely 
preparation was necessary. Several circumstances had 
made this impossible. It will be remembered, in the first 
place, the Government of India had viewed the enterprise 
askance. The head of an Indian province looks mainly 
to his own affairs ; and not having a free hand, and being 
without direct responsibility for the financing of a military 
expedition, he presses hard for what he wants. To the 
Supreme Government, far from the scene of raids and 
disorder, and less directly concerned with the causes and 
consequences of them, the financial aspect looms largest. 
The Government of India were beginning to take alarm 
at the heavy burden with which the annexation of the 
new province was loading them. They were aware of 
the very wide extent of territory under the nominal sway 
of the dethroned King, and of the distant boundaries, ill- 
defined and seemingly endless, marching not only with 
China and Siam, but with savage peoples of whom hardly 
the names were known. They feared, naturally enough, 
that the local authorities might allow their zeal to push 


them on too hastily if not too far. Little was known 
about the relations of the King's Government to the wide 
region lying between the Irrawaddy Valley and the Mekong. 
The northern and north-eastern boundaries were very indis- 
tinctly defined, and no thought had been given to the great 
wedge of mountainous country between Burma proper and 

The end of 1888 found us engaged in all these outlying 
regions. Active operations were going on in the Shan 
States, in the difficult hills east of Bhamo, and in the 
rugged country about the Ruby Mines. In the far north 
there were disturbances all around Mogaung, which was 
inadequately garrisoned and difficult to get at. Added to 
this, there were still districts of Upper Burma which were 
harassed by gangs of guerillas. There was more than 
enough work for every soldier and every civilian in the 
country and for every penny that the Treasury could afford. 
Facts, however, had proved strong, and the Chins them- 
selves forced us to act. But General Faunce's force started 
too late, and therefore without adequate preparation for a 
big campaign. Added to this came the unfortunate Gangaw 
affair, which interrupted his supplies and called off some of 
his best troops. 

In the summer of 1889 the position at Fort White was 
hardly encouraging. The place had proved very unhealthy, 
and the garrison had few men fit for service. Not only had 
we failed to touch the Tashons, who had been chiefly 
responsible for the troubles of the past year, but we were 
far from having come to terms with the Siyins and 
Kanhows, on which tribes our hand had been heavy. The 
political officer, indeed, still believed that hunger would 
bring them in. The Kanhows had made a partial and 
half-hearted submission, retaining, however, most of their 
Burman captives. The others would have no truck with 
us, and treated our demands, as well as our advances, 
with obstinate silence. Their courage was higher, and 
the pressure on them less than had been thought. The 
Baungshes, moreover, to the south of the Tashons, includ- 
ing the Yokwa Haka and Thetta clans, had been con- 
tinuously on the warpath, and had had no communication 
with our officers since the winter of 1887. 


There were only two courses open either to make a 
well-prepared systematic advance into the Chin Hills and 
bring these people under British rule, not necessarily 
administration in the full meaning ; or to retire altogether 
and leave an enclave of savagery between Burma and Bengal, 
trusting for the protection of the Burman villages to frontier 
posts and spasmodic expeditions. The long history of the 
dealings of the Bengal Government with the Lushais and 
Nagas, very similar people, had proved the futility of the 
latter course. The inclination in Burma was all for the 
former, and this met with the thorough approval of the 
Supreme Government. The work was to be undertaken 
in a whole-hearted manner that would ensure success. 

During the inactive season of 1889, the scheme of operations 
was carefully worked out. The plan of campaign approved 
by the Supreme Government was very much on the lines 
sketched in the Chief Commissioner's minute of the 21st of 
July, 1888. The central object was the Tashon tribe. 
On their north we already had in Fort White a footing 
in the hills with communications secured to Kalewa, on 
the Chindwin. It was decided to make the attack from 
the Burma side in two strong columns. The Northern 
Column was to gather at Fort White, and was to deal in 
the first instance with the still refractory tribes in its 
immediate neighbourhood. The Southern Column was to 
muster at Pakokku and, making its base at Kan in the 
Myittha Valley, to move up deliberately into the hills to 
Yokwa and Haka, subjugating the villages as the force 
advanced and securing the release of the captives. Then, 
leaving a garrison in Haka, it was to move northward 
and, in combination with the Fort White Column, to make 
a simultaneous attack on Falam, the Tashon capital, from 
both sides. Meanwhile, a third force was to enter the hills 
from Bengal territory and open communications or, if 
necessary, join hands with the Burma columns. For 
the operations of this last force the Burma Administration 
had no responsibility. 

To protect the villages in the plains from raids and to 
keep open communications while the expeditions were in 
progress, it was decided to establish ten posts along the 
more northern portion of the Chin-Burman frontier. The 


force to be employed from Burma was to be nearly four 
thousand fighting men, besides some military police. The 
number of transport animals and of coolies necessary for 
such a body would be very great. Carts were useless after 
the first few marches from the Irrawaddy. Some fodder 
for ponies and bullocks might be procurable, but it was 
certain that once in the hills almost every ounce of food 
for man and beast would have to be sent up from the 
Irrawaddy Valley. 

The success of the campaign, therefore, was a question of 
transport and supply. Kan, which was to be the base of 
the Southern Column, was to be fed from Pakokku on the 
Irrawaddy, distant 165 miles through difficult and sparsely 
inhabited country. Work had been begun in 1888 on 
the road ; but labour was scarce and the cart-track was not 
open for more than half the distance. Provisions for Fort 
"White and its communications, as well as for the frontier 
posts, could be sent up by steamer to Kalewa on the Chind- 
win. The difficulty was to move them thence to Kalemyo 
within reach of the troops. If the Myittha were navigable, 
it would be invaluable ; all the frontier posts from Kalemyo 
to Kan were on that river, but its waters were unknown. 
Mules and coolies in large numbers, men from Assam and 
from the Northern Punjab able to carry loads on hill 
paths, were promised by India. Arrangements for col- 
lecting some eight or nine hundred carts at Pakokku were 
put in train ; and contracts for the hire of country 
boats, of which Pakokku is the great building centre, 
were given. 

In August I went up the Chindwin to Kalewa to meet 
Major Baikes, who had been stationed at Fort White since 
the close of the active operations, and had been busy 
acquiring information of the people and country and 
endeavouring to induce the Chins to come to terms. I 
brought with me two naval officers Captain Wilson, K.N., 
then Port Officer at Eangoon, and Commander Holland, of 
the Royal Indian Marine Service. These officers were 
deputed to ascertain how far the Myittha could be navigated ; 
and, as their inquiries gave reason for hoping that the river 
might be navigable, the task of exploring it was entrusted 
to Commander Holland. The results of his work were 


encouraging, and he was directed to organize a transport 
service of boats. 

But to return to Kalewa. The Chief Commissioner, after 
discussing matters closely with Major Raikes, resolved to 
inform the Tashons that the British Representative, with an 
armed force, would proceed to Falam, their head village, 
and there receive the submission of the tribe, and if neces- 
sary enforce it. A proclamation to that effect was sent 
to the chiefs in the following terms : 

" A British army will march to the Tashon Ywama. 
The British Government wishes to preserve your tribe, 
and does not desire to punish you as it has punished 
the Kanhows and Siyins who have resisted the British 

" The British Government desires from you only two 
things : First, that the captives taken from Burman vil- 
lages shall be released. Secondly, that you shall in the 
future behave peacefully, and cease to attack the subjects 
of the Government. 

" Therefore the Chief Commissioner hereby declares and 
promises that you will be excused from punishment for the 
past if you comply with the following terms : 

" (i) That you shall assist the British troops in their 
march through your country to your Ywarna, and 
that you will neither attack nor oppose them ; 

" (ii) That you shall to the utmost of your power compel 
the Siyin and Kanhow tribes to surrender their 

" (iii) That the chiefs shall meet the officer in command 
of the British forces at the Ywama, and deliver 
up to him all the captives in the possession of 
your tribe and pay a fine of 10,000 rupees. 

" (iv) That you shall render annually a tribute of two 
elephant tusks and ten silk pieces to the British 

" If you comply with these terms your lives and property 
will be spared, and the former orders requiring you to 
deliver up the Shwegyobyu and other rebels will not be 


" On the other hand, if you will not comply with these 
conditions the Chief Commissioner will direct the troops 
to punish you severely." 

Up to this time the surrender of the Burman outlaws 
had been made a condition of peace with the Tashons. It 
was now said by those who knew them best that the 
surrender of the refugees was repugnant to Chin honour ; 
and in the hope of making it easier for them to yield, the 
Chief Commissioner consented to waive this demand. Per- 
mission was also given to Major Eaikes to reduce the fine, 
if it would make negotiations more hopeful. But on the 
other points, especially the condition that the troops should 
march to Falam, their capital, and there receive the formal 
and public submission of the chiefs to the British Govern- 
ment, no concession whatever was to be made. Negotia- 
tions on this basis continued between the political officer 
and the Tashons without result. 

In the beginning of December the chiefs agreed to meet 
Major Eaikes at Sihaung. The terms of the proclamation 
were explained to them, and they were made to understand 
that they were final and would be enforced. The chiefs 
were impracticable. They affirmed that if our men ad- 
vanced they could not control their tribesmen. The ex- 
Sawbwa of Kale was present at this meeting, having come 
down with the Chins. He wisely took the opportunity of 
surrendering to Major Baikes, and was sent to Pakokku, 
where he lived afterwards in receipt of a pension from the 
Government. His surrender exploded a theory which had 
been started, that the Tashons were holding out in order 
to procure his reinstatement in Kale. 

A proclamation in similar terms was sent to the Haka 
and Yokwa Chins. 

Meanwhile the work of collecting transport and forward- 
ing stores was pushed on ; the boat service on the Myittha 
was organized, and was worked by Commander Holland 
with great energy and success. 

Brigadier-General Faunce had left Burma. He was 
succeeded in command of the brigade by Colonel W. P. 
Symons (well known as General Sir W. Penn Symons), 
who met his death in the first action of the Boer War. 
Colonel Symons had made his reputation already as an 


active and able soldier. He was much more. He was 
peculiarly fitted by temper, tact, and administrative ability 
to conduct a difficult business like that now in hand. The 
command of the Chin-Lushai expedition was given to him 
by the Chief Commissioner's request. The question arose 
whether he should have also the control of the negotiations 
and arrangements with the Chins. 

For some time the feeling in India had been, as it still 
is, against the division of authority in expeditions of this 
kind. No doubt, as a rule, the man who holds the military 
command should have control of the negotiations also. 
At the same time the circumstances of each case and the 
qualifications of the man must be taken into account. 
In Burma hitherto it had been found more convenient, 
if not necessary, to divide the duties and to give what 
is called the political business to a civil officer acquainted 
with the language and customs of the people to be dealt 
with. In the present instance it happened that Major 
Raikes had from the beginning dealt, under the Chief 
Commissioner's orders, with the Chin tribes. He had 
had more opportunities than any one of acquiring a know- 
ledge of their character and politics. It was somewhat 
difficult to ask him now to work in subordination to the 
military commander who had had no part in the business. 

The Chief Commissioner was ready to brush aside this 
personal difficulty and to allow Major Raikes to resign 
his post if he preferred to go. He would willingly have 
placed the chief authority unreservedly in General Symons's 
hands. The question was carefully considered and dis- 
cussed. Finally, by General Symons's desire it was arranged 
to leave to the civil officer the negotiations with the Chins 
and the arrangements to be made with them when they 
submitted. It happened, however, that before the advance 
into the hills had well begun, Major Raikes was compelled 
by illness to go away. General Symons was then put in 
undivided control of the whole business, under the Chief 
Commissioner's orders. Two civil officers were selected 
to serve as his assistants, absolutely in subordination to 
him. Mr. D. Ross was posted to the Southern Column 
and Mr. B. S. Carey to the Northern. This arrangement 
worked admirably. 


The rains of 1889 were unfortunately late. The Southern 
Column, 1,869 * strong, was concentrated at Pakokku. 
From Pakokku to Kan, which was to be the base for the 
operations, was one hundred and sixty-five miles. Shelters 
had been erected at the halting-places, and such provisions 
as could be procured were gathered and stored by the civil 
district officers. The troops began to move on the 23rd 
of November, and the march was successfully carried out 
in fifteen days, by detachments of one hundred fighting men 
with followers marching in succession daily. The first 
detachment left Pakokku on the 23rd of November, and 
the leading columns were only just able to get through 
the falling rivers and the drying country. The ground 
was heavy and the heat great. Nevertheless, troops and 
followers arrived at Kan in good condition, with only a 
nominal sick list. 

By the middle of November the Northern Column, 1,622 f 
strong, was ready at Fort White and was waiting for the 
hill-coolies who were to form the transport, before it should 
move out. 

The garrisons for the ten posts which were to protect 
the frontier were sent up the Chindwin to Kalewa, and 
had to march down the Myittha Valley. Late rains had 
flooded the Kale Valley, and as late as the end of November 
the country was impassable to anything but an elephant. 
On the 24th of October it took fifteen hours to get one 
hundred and seventy fresh mules, with elephants to carry 
their saddles and gear, through the bogs and swamps on 

* 1st Battalion King's Own, Scottish Borderers ... 500 rifle 

No. 7 Mountain Battery ... ... ... ... 84 

No. 6 Company Queen's Own, Sappers and Miners 151 

2nd Battalion 4th Gurkhas 410 

2nd Madras Infantry 630 

Burma Company Queen's Own, Sappers and Miners 94 

Total 1,869 rifles 

f 1st Battalion Cheshire Eegiment 300 rifles 

42nd Gurkha Light Infantry 477 

No. 5 Company Queen's Own, Sappers and Miners 95 ,, 

10th Bengal Infantry 460 

28th Bengal Infantry 290 

Total ... 1,622 rifles 


the last five and a half miles of the road into Kalemyo, which 
was the distributing base for supplies for Fort White and 
for the posts in the Kale Valley. By the end of December 
these ten posts were built, occupied, and rationed a testi- 
mony to the qualities of the officers and men who overcame 
such difficulties. 

By the end of January, 1890, five hundred and fifty-one 
tons of stores had been sent by road to Kan, and six 
hundred and thirty-eight tons landed at Kalemyo by 
water. The river transport service not only did this, but 
also provided, as a by-work, carriage for many men joining 
their corps and for sick sent down to the rear. From the 
beginning of February, when 'the country had become dry, 
all supplies for the Southern Column were brought in carts 
from Pakokku to Kan and on to Haka on hired pack- 
bullocks and Government transport animals. To add to 
the difficulties, virulent cattle disease broke out in the 
Myittha and Kale Valleys, and caused enormous loss. 

One-third of the pack-bullocks had died. The sickness 
was not confined to the transport animals. It was said 
that the villagers in the Kale State lost 90 per cent, of their 

The first troops of the Southern Column reached Kan 
on the 7th of December. On the 9th the sappers, with a 
covering escort, commenced work on the road to Haka, 
which was sixty-four miles distant. Every one thought 
that our men would be in Haka in ten or twelve days, 
and all calculations were based on this estimate. It was 
sixty-six days before the leading files entered Haka, and 
the mule-road did not reach that place until the seventy- 
seventh day. This, although the whole strength of the 
force was devoted to road work : every man who could 
dig was set to it. The country opposed to the engineers 
a tumbled network of steep hills and deep ravines. The 
climate proved deadly. Soldiers and coolies were ill with 
fever. Out of seven Eoyal Engineer officers, at the end 
of December six were lying ill. In comparison with the 
difficulties caused by the nature of the country and the 
climate, the fiercest opposition of the Chins was insignificant. 

"This disappointing delay," wrote General Symons, 
" was not without its compensating advantages in dealing 


with the Chins. They expected us to make a quick advance, 
do some damage, and retire. The steady, persistent advance, 
together with the pains that were taken to get into touch 
with them and to explain our objects and intentions, 
paralysed their spirits and efforts for resistance, and thus 
tribe after tribe submitted and yielded to our terms." 

This is, no doubt, the true way of dealing with savages. 
They are like children. They are terrified if they see a 
person approaching them steadily, with measured steps and 
outstretched arms. But it is much more difficult and 
requires more resources in money and men and transport 
to advance into a difficult country, making each step good 
and permanent, than to rush in, burn, slay, and retire. The 
latter method of warfare the savage understands. His 
enemies appear suddenly, set fire to his village, kill those 
they come across, and are away again. He flees into the 
jungle at the first alarm, and comes back little the worse 
as soon as the other side retires. That the better method 
was not followed in 1887-8, and that the more barbarous 
system was adopted, was not voluntary. Circumstances 
forced it upon the authorities in Burma, as the only means 
at their disposal for protecting the peaceful population in 
the plains. Besides, it is only fair to say that the tribes 
dealt with the former year, the Siyins and Kanhows, were 
by far the most warlike and bloodthirsty of the Chins. 
The severe chastisement inflicted on them, and the main- 
tenance of the garrison in Fort White during the year, 
had brought home to all the folly of trying conclusions with 
disciplined and well-armed troops. 

On the 17th of December the advance-guard of the 
Southern Column occupied Taungtek on the road to Haka. 
From that date to the 28th of December the Chins from time 
to time made feeble attempts to resist, harassing the troops 
by firing into camp. On the 28th, near Taungtek, they 
had a considerable number of men in action ; according to 
their own account five hundred men, of whom three 
hundred had fire-arms. But they could do nothing. From 
that day they gave up the fight and made no further 

On the 8th of January two Yokwa Chins came into 
camp. The objects of our coming and the conditions of 


peace were explained to these two men, and they were sent 
back to repeat them to their chiefs. But therein lay the 
difficulty. Who were the real chiefs ? There were numbers 
of chiefs, each with his own following, each bitterly jealous 
of his fellows. To negotiate under such conditions required 
the tact and patience which General Symons fortunately 
possessed. The most intelligent and influential of the 
rivals had to be discovered, and his position strengthened 
by dealing through him. 

Henceforth affairs progressed well, and there was no 
combined opposition to the advance. One unfortunate 
incident, however, occurred. Some Chins lying in ambush 
shot Lieutenant Foster, of the King's Own Scottish 
Borderers. The tribes had been fully warned that acts 
of treachery would meet with punishment. The nearest 
village was destroyed. This, happily, was the sole occasion 
on which the Southern Column was compelled to use 

A few days afterwards Yokwa was occupied, and this 
section of the Baungshes yielded. The terms imposed on 
them were the surrender of the captives, the payment of 
a fine and of an annual tribute, and an engagement to keep 
the peace in future. The mule-path, meanwhile, was being 
pushed forward on to Haka, the headquarters of an 
important section. The same tactics soon led to their 
submission. The subjugation of the whole Baungshe clan 
was now complete, for the minor sections followed the 
lead of the premier communities. The headquarters of 
the expedition were fixed henceforward at Haka, and 
negotiations for the surrender of the captives were begun. 

This was not an easy or speedy business. Nominal rolls 
of the persons held in durance by the Chins had been 
prepared, and it was known by which tribe and by which 
village the captives had been taken. But some of the 
raids had been committed months before. Slaves were 
current coin in the hills, and passed from hand to hand 
as easily as a bank-note in more civilized regions. Their 
value was fixed with reference to the customary ransom 
paid by their Burmese relatives, and seems to have averaged 
ten or twelve pounds sterling. In barter, according to Mr. 
Carey, a slave would exchange for three or four head of 


cattle, a good gun, a dozen pigs, or a wife. However 
willing the tribe or the village, or even the original captor, 
might be to keep faith, it was often difficult to trace the 
slave and obtain his release from the present holder, who 
had bought him with a price and did not see why he should 
be at a loss. A view not unreasonable from a Chin point 
of view, but quite inadmissible from our side. 

While these negotiations were proceeding at Haka, and 
the mule-road was being completed to that place, reconnais- 
sance parties were sent out to the west, the country was 
explored, the submission of a western tribe, the Klanklangs, 
was secured, and communication with the Chittagong 
Column, under Brigadier-General Tregear,* was opened. 
The advance parties of General Symons and General 
Tregear's forces met on the 26th of February, at Tao village, 
fifty-two miles west of Haka. This meeting was notable 
for the recovery of the heads of Lieutenant John Stewart, of 
the Leinster Kegiment, and the soldiers (two British and 
one Indian) who had been killed by Hoswata Shendoos on the 
3rd of February, 1888, when surveying in the Chittagong 
Hill tracts. Their skulls had decorated the village of some 
Chin chief at Haka ever since. As to how they came to 
Haka nothing is known. The chief may have taken them 
himself, or he may have purchased the trophies from the real 
heroes. No inquiry was made, and no retaliation was inflicted 
on the accomplices in the murder of our fellow-countrymen. 

The Southern Column being thus engaged, the Northern 
Column, under Colonel Skene, with Mr. Bertram Carey as 
civil officer, had not been idle. Mr. Carey had to do with 
a very difficult position. The tribes with whom he was 
immediately concerned were as defiant in December, 1889, 
as they had been a year before ; and he had no medium 
of communication with them. Gradually, by patience and 
skilful handling, the Sagyilain Chins living in the nearest 
villages were induced to bring supplies of eggs and fowls 
to market. Trading led to closer intercourse. Mr. Carey 
established himself at Yawlu on the road from Fort White 
to Falam, the chief Tashon village, and very soon Tashons 
as well as Sagyilains came to Yawlu daily to sell their 

* Now Major -General Sir Vincent William Tregear, K.C.B., Indian 
Army, retired. 


produce, and the situation became less strained, while the 
troops procured better food. After a little Manglon, the 
chief of the Sagyilains, came to see Mr. Carey, and made his 
submission to the British Government. This was a most 
welcome event. Manglon became a medium in all negotia- 
tions with the Siyins, and remained loyal and trustworthy in 
subsequent troubles. 

No progress, however, was made with the Siyins, who 
promised to surrender if the Tashons made peace. The 
best months for active operations were passing. But it 
was thought inexpedient to adopt rough methods against 
them until a settlement had been made with the Tashons.* 
After some negotiations with the chief of Mwebingyi (an 
important village), who promised to surrender and invited a 
visit, Mr. Carey, with Colonel Skene and a small force, 
guided by Sagyilain men, marched to Mwebingyi. Three 
miles from the village they were fired on by Chins from all 
sides. A sharp skirmish followed. The Chins, driven back 
to their village, set it on fire and took to the hillsides. We 
lost two men severely wounded owing to this treacherous 

The time had now come when the much-delayed advance 
of the Southern Column made the combined movements of 
the Northern and Southern Columns upon the Tashon 
Ywama possible. The reduction of this tribe was the main 
object of the campaign, to which all the other operations 
were leading. It was important to avoid a hostile collision 
with it. It would have been easy enough to harass and 
punish the tribe village by village, but at the cost of life, 
destruction of property, and misery. General Symons's 
instructions were to accept no surrender and to conclude 
no negotiations except at Falam, the Tashon head village ; 
and his purpose was to make resistance hopeless by placing 
the forces from Haka and Fort White simultaneously on 
the north and south of the Ywama. Accordingly, on the 
8th of March a force 350 strong, with one gun, under 
Colonel Skene, left Fort White. On the 9th General 
Symons, with 290 rifles and two mountain-guns, marched 
from Haka. The Southern Column had suffered so much 

* It was understood at this time that the Siyins were quite subordinate 
to the Tashons, whose control, however, proved to be limited. 


from sickness that its strength in fighting-men and trans- 
port coolies had been seriously reduced. Without the aid 
of the Northern Column, it could not have given enough 
men to garrison Haka and at the same time to deal with 
the Tashons. It was a matter of moment, therefore, that 
the two columns should operate in concert. A successful 
and rapid reconnaissance to within eight miles of the 
Ywama was affected, and the two forces arrived on the 
opposite banks of the Manipur, or Nankathe River, within 
an hour of each other on the llth of March. 

The Tashons had not intended to yield without a fight. 

" Innumerable stockades, breastworks, and obstructions, 
extending over some nine miles of country, but chiefly 
intended against an enemy advancing from the north, had 
been freshly erected at every commanding point. Large 
numbers of armed men watched both columns as they 
advanced, but there was no collision. It is difficult to 
estimate their numbers ; but on the south of Manipur River 
near the Ywama there were not less than 5,000 men, of 
whom two-thirds were armed with guns, the rest with 
spears." * 

Disregarding the protests of some of the chiefs who came 
out to meet him, General Syrnons marched his men to a 
spot within one thousand yards of the Ywama, and fixed his 
camp there. The chiefs were assembled and asked if they 
agreed to our terms. With the inconsequence of savages, 
after allowing us to advance unopposed, they rejected our 
conditions, refusing firmly to pay tribute and demurring 
even to the fine. General Symons warned them of the risk 
they were incurring and dismissed them. 

The scene on this occasion was dramatic, and is thus 
described by Mr. Bertram Carey, who was present : 

" The whole valley, in which formerly lay the original 
village of Falam, was full of armed Chins, numbering not 
less than 3,000 men, gathered from all sides; the host 
seemed to settle itself in groups of from 10 to 100 men. 
They were quiet in demeanour, but held their heads high 
and seemed quite prepared for whatever might be the result 
of the negotiations. The crowd was a motley one, the 

* Brigadier-General Symons's Despatch, dated the 1st of May, 1890, 
from Haka. 



Tashon chiefs dressed in the gaudy tartan of the tribe, well 
armed with bright guns, vermilion and black parti-coloured 
dah scabbards, and beautifully inlaid powder-horns. The 
Whenohs were conspicuous by their chignons, which 
contrasted with the lofty head-dress of their neighbours, 
the Yahows, who were present carrying the strange shendu. 
chopper-shaped dahs in basket work scabbards. Scattered 
around in bunches were the scowling Siyins, the half-breeds 
from Tawyan and Mintedaung, the semi-independent 
clique of Kwungli, and the trans-Nankathe tribesmen of 
Sokte and * Poi ' origin. The congregation was armed 
with a variety of weapons; spears and flint-lock guns 
predominated, but bows and quivers of barbed arrows were 
carried by not a few. Each man bore his food-supply for a 
few days on his back." * 

The next two days were spent in wearisome negotiations 
which might have driven a less patient man to the use of 
force. His forbearance was rewarded, and the chiefs gave 
way. The tribute for 1889 was delivered, and five thousand 
rupees, the amount to which he had thought right to reduce 
the fine, was paid. 

The Tashons admitted that until a few days before the 
forces reached Falam they had intended to fight. Their 
position as head of the Chin tribes and the fear of losing 
prestige impelled them to resist. When they found their 
enemies coming from two sides, they began to lose heart. 
All their outlying villages, who knew they must suffer first 
and most, prayed them to make peace. 

It is evident that the rough handling of the Siyins by 
General Faunce had given a salutary lesson to these people. 
The event proved also the wisdom of marching to the head- 
quarters of the tribe, and there compelling the public 
submission of their leaders. 

The object of the combined march having been attained, 
the columns separated, the Southern returning to Haka 
and the Northern to Fort White. During the remaining 
months of open weather General Symons was occupied in 
gathering in the captives, improving his relations with the 
Chins, and in exploring the country. In April, accompanied 
by the Haka chief, he visited many villages to the South 
* " The Chin Hills," vol. i., p. 89. Government Press, Eangoon, 1896. 


and was everywhere well received. On the 15th of April 
General Tregear met him at Haka, now linked up with 
Fort Tregear by a mule-track, which was brought into 
Haka, a distance of eighty-one miles, on the 13th of April. 
The Chittagong Column had met with no opposition. 
Their work was mainly road-making, reconnoitring, and 
surveying work of the first importance in securing per- 
manent peace. The Lushai country was as difficult as any 
on the Burma side. 

" There is the dense jungle, which prevents one seeing 
a dozen yards ahead ; rocks extending over large portions of 
the hillside are constantly met with, and when it was found 
impossible to avoid them much time was taken up in 
blasting operations. Range upon range of precipitous hills, 
running at right angles to the line of advance, had to be 
crossed, and the question of a sufficient supply of water at 
the different camps had to be considered in determining the 
trace of the road." * 

Two large rivers had to be bridged. 

It is not within the scope of the present narrative to 
describe the work done by the Chittagong Column. Its 
approach from the west had beyond doubt made General 
Symons's task easier, and success more certain. 

On returning to Fort White, Mr. Carey resumed his 
immediate duty of bringing the Siyins within the fold. 
They had promised to submit if the Tashons made peace. 
He called upon them now to keep their word. Only one 
chief came in, and, as he brought no captives, Mr. Carey 
sent him away. So far from submitting, they cut the 
telegraph wires daily and annoyed our people. A policy 
of waiting and conciliation had failed. Several of the 
worst villages were therefore singled out and destroyed, not 
without some fighting, in which several sepoys were killed. 
Unfortunately, in two cases, in which some troops from 
Kalemyo were engaged, the bodies were allowed to fall 
into the enemies' hands. The Chin braves were able to 
return with two heads, more expressive of victory than guns 
or standards, and no doubt published in their fashion jubilant 
bulletins. The triumph was short-lived. A month after- 
wards a detachment of the 42nd Gurkhas, marching down 
* Brigadier-General Tregear's Despatch, May 81, 1890. 


on their way to India, destroyed the villages concerned. 
Before the end of April all the Siyins had made outward 
submission and had accepted our terms, which were that 
a yearly tribute should be paid and that the captives should 
be surrendered. Each clan was to be allowed to rebuild its 
villages when the captives held by it had been released, and 
not before. The cut telegraph wire and the two heads were 
brought in, and the captives were being gradually sur- 

The results of the campaign were good and permanent. 
The foundation was laid for an effective control over these 
troublesome hill-men, and peace with security was given to 
the Burmans in the plains and to the Chins themselves, 
Baiding and slavery as institutions were condemned, and 
were soon to disappear altogether. Before the troops left 
the field one hundred and thirty-eight captives were liber- 
ated. There were a few raids made after General Symons 
finished his task, but they were promptly punished. There 
were some disturbances among the Chin tribes. They 
were easily checked, and systematic disarmament here, as in 
Burma proper, changed the temper and habits of the people. 

This success had been achieved almost without bloodshed, 
but at a great cost to our men of suffering and loss of life 
from disease. The sickness among troops and followers was 
appalling, and the transport animals perished by hundreds. 
Nine men, of whom two were officers, were killed in action ; 
two hundred and seven, of whom seventy-two were fighting- 
men, perished of disease. And two thousand one hundred 
and twenty-two were invalided, of whose seven hundred and 
nine were fighting-men one-fifth of the whole force. 

A permanent post was built at Haka, which was found to 
be a healthy place ; and the headquarters of a civil officer, 
with control over the Baungshes and Tashons, was established 

Fort White continued for some time to be the head- 
quarters of the civil and military staff in the north. But 
the garrison was reduced, and as the site was always sickly, 
the fort was moved back to the Letha Eange, retaining the 
name which it had received from Sir George White. Falam, 
the chief village of the Tashons, is now the headquarters of 
the civil administration of the Chin Hills. 


It is worth while, perhaps, to give some account of the 
Chins in these the first years of British rule. 

At the time of General Symons's expedition the Chins 
were a savage race. They had arms in abundance, flint- 
lock guns of English make, and spears. They were armed 
not so much against strangers as against each other. In 
former times, when they were ill-provided with fire-arms, the 
Burmans used to oppress them; but for a long time the 
position had been reversed. Intertribal feuds, however, and 
feuds between villages and families of the same tribe, were 
very common and made it unsafe to move without arms. 
No man who owned a gun ever left his house without it. 
While the fields were worked by women and slaves, armed 
men stood guard. So it was even less than a century ago 
in parts of India. What caused the feuds was a matter for 
speculation. Apparently disputes about debts were the most 
frequent ; commerce, in fact, as among Western peoples, 
led to quarrels. As for government, even the most primi- 
tive form of tribal or village organization appears to have 
been imperfect. There were many chiefs, and if any one of 
them, as Jahoota,* for instance, was pre-eminent, he could 
not count on the obedience or support of the others. Their 
jealousies interfered with everything. Of their manners and 
customs not much was put on record in the earlier reports, 
which were necessarily more concerned with military matters. 
They made forays on the Burmans for heads and slaves. 
They were much given to sacrifices, and sometimes to 
human sacrifices. For example, it was usual to sacrifice 
slaves at the funerals of persons accidentally killed. Of 
their marriage-customs nothing is said in the early 

The country was not rich. There were no forests that 
it would pay to work, and no minerals had been discovered. 
The cultivation was of the primitive kind " Taungya," or 
" Jhoom " that is to say, felling the trees, burning them 
when dry, and sowing hill-rice and other crops in the ash. 
In the forests they had plenty of game, and much fish 
Mahseer and other kinds in the rivers ; and the jungles 
were rich in fruits and roots that would support life if 
the grain failed. Metal of all kinds was very scarce. The 
* Eegarding Jahoota, or Ya Hnit, see pp. 334-335 infra. 


hills produced none, and the Burmese Government had for- 
bidden the export of metals from the plains. The trouble 
the Chins gave by cutting the telegraph wire was caused by 
their desire to procure metal, rather than to cause annoyance. 
Mr. Carey compared the attraction felt by the Chin for the 
unprotected wire to that felt by an English boy for an 
unfenced apple-orchard. The insulator spikes were beaten 
into hoes and the wire melted to make bullets, or bangles 
for the damsels. Their wants were blankets, cottons and 
other cloths, iron and steel for tools, lead for bullets, needles 
and thread and salt. In exchange they were able to offer 
honey, beeswax, chillies, mats, and a little lac. 

The reports of 1889 were more concerned with the 
measures carried out for their subjugation than with descrip- 
tions of the people and their manners. In the main, what 
is written in the Burma Gazetteer published in 1908 is true 
of the Chins of twenty years ago : 

" They are a sturdy, warlike, hospitable people, slow of 
speech, grave of habit, paying great regard to rank and 
to the ties of clan, but spoilt by their intemperance, their 
vindictiveness, their treachery, their greed, their lack of 
persistence,* and their personal uncleanliness." 

There is a quaint humour about this description which is 
refreshing in a Gazetteer. A race would have to be good 
indeed if, with such an array of vices, there was anything left 
to spoil. 

Their villages are described as built on the hill-slopes, 
some of them fortified; and their houses are often solid, 
elaborate structures. Their dress is the reverse a loin-cloth, 
none too ample, and a blanket for the men ; a short skirt and 
jacket for the women. Home- woven check plaids are seen 
in a good many costumes, and some tribes have distinctive 
plaids, as in Scotland. The people are mainly vegetarians, 
but they will eat anything, from a dog to an elephant. They 
smoke tobacco in pipes, and they make a liquor from 
fermented grain, presumably rice, which is called zu. They 
suck up this, in the most approved fashion, through a hollow 
reed, out of the original still-pot. Enormous quantities of zu 

* It may be questioned whether, in view of the obstinate resistance 
shown by some tribes, they can be fairly charged with lack of persistence. 


are consumed at Chin entertainments, which usually end in 
disgusting orgies. 


Tribes called the Chinboks, claiming to be of the same 
stock as the Hakas but speaking a different language, are 
found at the head- waters of the Maw and Yaw Bivers. 
Farther south, at the sources of the Saw and Salin and on 
the eastern slopes of the Mon Valley, live the Yendus. Below 
them, and southernmost of all the Chins, are the Chinbons, 
who from the Mon on the east extend along the border of 
the Mimbu district into the Akyab and Kyaukpyu districts 
of Lower Burma. 

These three tribes were less fierce than their kindred 
to the north, and possessed only the arms of savage warfare 
the bow and arrow and spear. Some of them, those on the 
borders of the Tilin township at the headquarters of the 
Maw Kiver, were noted for cattle-lifting. But the Chinboks 
on the Yaw and the Yendus on the Saw and Salin Kivers 
rivalled the Siyins as slave-raiders. At the commencement 
of the winter of 1889 there were twenty-one captives in the 
possession of these tribes. They had made twelve raids 
since December, 1888, in which five villagers had been killed 
and sixteen carried off. Many had been wounded in resist- 
ing or escaping, and large sums had been extracted as 

It was decided, in making up the account against these 
savages, not to go back behind December, 1888. In that 
month a notable raid had been committed on Taunggyo in 
the Pauk township, in which thirty-two persons were carried 
off and held to ransom at nine pounds sterling each, which 
appears to have settled down as the sum beyond which the 
ability or affection of the Burman would not go (see p. 318). 
After this crime trade with the plains had been prohibited 
to the Chinboks, so far as lay in our power. 

The difficulty in dealing with them lay in their want 
of cohesion and the absence of any sort of tribal bond. 
With the Shans there were the Sawbwas ; with the Chins 
to the north there were the tribal divisions, more or less 
marked, with chiefs who could speak, or at any rate profess 
to speak, for their people. But with the people with whom 


we were now to come in contact there was an absence of 
political organization beyond the village, which was usually 
very small. It was necessary to visit as many as possible 
of the villages concerned in the raids, to receive the sub- 
mission of each, and to impose fines for misconduct ; and 
as an obligatory condition to insist on the surrender of 
captives, and the repayment of ransoms, not going back 
farther than December, 1888. Substantial guarantees for 
the future were also to be exacted. 

It had been intended to make the dealings with these 
three tribes part of the operations under General Symons's 
control, and to give to Mr. Boss, under his orders, the 
immediate conduct of the negotiations. When the full 
proportions of the task assigned to General Symons were 
seen, it became plain that he could not undertake the 
Chinboks ; and in consequence of Major Raikes's illness, 
Mr. Ross had to remain with the Southern Column. 
Fortunately the Chin Frontier Levy had now been raised, 
and had had a little time to fit itself for service. Their 
posts at Kalemyo, Kan, and Gangaw were wanted by the 
regular troops of the Southern Column. This freed the 
Levy opportunely, and gave the Chief Commissioner a 
sufficient force for the expedition into the Chinbok country. 
An admirable officer was at hand to conduct it, in 
Lieutenant R. M. Rainey (now Colonel Rainey-Robinson), 
the Commandant of the Levy. To him was entrusted the 
conduct of the business. 

Lieutenant Rainey began, on the 16th of December, 
1889, by dealing with twenty-one Chinbok villages, 
consisting of two hundred and eighty-three houses, 
situated on the Maw Chaung, the southernmost affluent 
of the Myittha, on which Tilin, the headquarters of the 
Tilin township, is situated. The claim against them 
was for cattle stolen. But cattle thefts and slaves were 
mere questions of accounts. They set up and proved a 
counterclaim for the price of slaves sold to the plaintiffs 
before the British occupation. Lieutenant Rainey thought 
it best to admit the counterclaim and let bygones be 
bygones, but to provide for the future. He induced the 
twenty-one villages to appoint a chief as their spokesman 
and agent in dealing with us, and to agree to pay a small 


tribute in kind leviable from each village as an acknow- 
ledgment of fealty to the British Government. 

So far there had been no opposition. Lieutenant Eainey 
then moved his headquarters from Tilin to Chaungu or 
Yawdwin, some twenty miles south. This village is 
situated on an affluent of the Yaw Eiver, and made a good 
base for the next part of the business. The Chins in the 
valley of the Yaw and its tributaries were raiders. They 
attempted to harass the force, and Captain Will cocks (now 
Lieutenant- General Sir James Willcocks, K.C.M.G., C.B., 
D.S.O.), the Intelligence Officer, who was surveying and 
reconnoitring for a further move to the south, was attacked. 
This compelled a resort to punitive measures, and several 
offending villages were destroyed. A defensible advanced 
post was established at Chaungzon, in the heart of their 
hills. These methods brought the hostile Chins to reason. 
From this until the close of the operations the work 
progressed, bloodless and unopposed. The villages sub- 
mitted, captives were delivered up, headmen were 
appointed, and fines exacted from all villages which had 
raided since December, 1888. 

Lieutenant Kainey then returned to Chaungu; and 
moving his base still farther south to Laungshe, came 
into contact with the Yindus and Chinbons. By the 
exercise of tact and patience he succeeded in bringing 
these sections to submit to the British Government and 
to release their captives. As before, headmen were 
appointed, the payment of tribute was promised, and 
guarantees for good conduct given. The work was 
thoroughly well done. General Symons, in his despatch 
on the Chin-Lushai Campaign, wrote: 

" The Chinbok operations, though in no way under my 
direction or command, but ably, even brilliantly, conducted 
by Lieutenant Eainey, Commandant of the Chin Levy 
Military Police Battalion, have squared well with our 
work and settled an adjoining belt of country beyond our 
capability to touch." 

Lieutenant Eainey was another of the young soldiers 
who aided the civil administration in difficult times and 
showed their fitness for affairs. The country which sub- 
mitted to him was made a separate civil charge, known 


as " The Pakokku Hill Tracts," the headquarters of which 
were for some years at Yawdwin and are now at Kanpetlet 
on Mount Victoria. 

It is noticeable that the Chinboks and their confreres 
had been excluded from trading and from all intercourse 
with the plains since the beginning of 1889. On making 
their submission they begged that the blockade might be 
raised. It was evidently a useful weapon. If it had failed 
in the case of the Tashons and the more northern tribes, 
it was because it had not been effective. 

We had now made ourselves felt by most of the tribes. 
There remained unvisited a stretch of hills separating 
the Minbu district of Upper Burma from Arakan. The 
Chins dwelling in this tract preyed on the peasantry in 
the neighbouring districts. During the preceding two years 
sixteen villages had been raided in Minbu, twenty-one 
persons killed and thirty-nine carried into slavery. Of 
these captives sixteen had been ransomed by their friends 
at a very heavy price. In the adjoining township of the 
Pakokku district there had been several forays, and seven- 
teen persons had been captured and carried off. It was 
not possible at this time to find men for a comprehensive 
expedition against these Chins. Civil officers from the 
three districts of Akyab, Kyaukpyu, and Minbu were 
deputed, with small bodies of police, to meet at a central 
point. They assembled the chiefs and village headmen. 
The Chins were peaceful and submissive, but very few 
of the captives were restored. These clans belonged to 
the Akyab district geographically, and had not yet realized 
that their eastern borders had come under the British 
Government and were no longer to afford a happy hunting- 
ground for the pursuit of human game. They were found 
to be by no means formidable, badly armed, and little 
inclined to fight. 

The following year (1890-1) saw the beginning of the 
systematic control of the Chin tribes. For administrative 
purposes they were roughly divided into three parts. The 
northern tribes were governed from Fort White, the 
central tribes from Haka, and the southern from Yawdwin. 
Captain F. M. Kundall commanded the garrison at Fort 
White, and also held charge of our relations with the 


Chins when Mr. Carey had to take leave. Our knowledge 
of these people was at first far from accurate, and the then 
recognized divisions of the tribes controlled from Fort 
White were roughly as follows : * 

1. The Siyins and Sagyilains who lived in five villages, 
of which Koset, Sagyilain, and Toklaing were the chief. 
The first Fort White was built on the site of Toklaing, 
which was afterwards given back to them when the fort 
was moved, 

2. The Kanhows, inhabiting between thirty and forty 
villages north of Fort White, of which Tunzan, on the left 
bank of the Manipur River, is the capital. 

3. The Mobingyis, as they were called from the 
Burmese name for their chief village, Molbem, which lies 
on a spur overlooking the Manipur River on the left bank, 
and was a very large village. 

4. The Nwi-tes and other minor tribes akin to the 
Kukis of Manipur. 

It is now known that the right name of the Mobingyis 
is Sok-te, a very large tribe, of whom the Kanhows are 
only a powerful clan. 

5. The Ngwite and Late, who occupy the hills between 
Mwelpi and Manipur. 

6. The Haitsi Lope, who live on the eastern slope of the 
Letha Range bordering the Kabaw Valley. 

At the end of the last season's operations Mr. Carey had 
reported the submission of the Siyins and the acceptance of 
our terms. At the same time he had little trust in their 
good faith, and when Captain Rundall succeeded him at 
Fort White their attitude was more or less hostile. They 
continued to cut the telegraph wire and to give petty annoy- 
ance to the troops. The capture of some of the wire cutters 
gave some help to diplomacy. The Siyins submitted in 
order to get their brethren released. They surrendered 
their captives and agreed to pay tribute and keep the peace. 
The Kanhows proved more difficult. Captain Rundall took 

* For accurate and most interesting information regarding the Chins, 
their manners, customs, and history, I must refer the reader to the 
"Chin Hills," by Bertram S. Carey, C.I.E., and H. N. Tuck (2 vols., 
Rangoon Government Press, 1896.), which can be seen at the India 
Office Library. 


advantage of a dispute about the succession to the leader- 
ship of the tribe to open communication with one of the 

But before anything came of it the Kanhows raided a 
Burman village, killing eight persons and carrying off 
twelve. They were ordered to restore all captives, to give 
up the heads taken in the raid, to pay a fine of Es. 4,000, to 
submit to the Government, and to bind themselves to pay 
an annual tribute of Ks. 300. These terms were not com- 
plied with. Captain Eundall, therefore, marched with three 
hundred rifles and two guns against the village of Tungzang. 
The Chins fought, and lost twelve men killed and twenty- 
one prisoners, including some of their chief men. They 
had now tried conclusions and were satisfied. Thirty-nine 
captives were surrendered and the fine and tribute paid in 
full. Some of the chiefs were sent to Eangoon, and shown 
over some large steamers, mills, and the like, and, it is said, 
were impressed by the sight. However that may be, they 
have not given much trouble since. Some useful road work 
was done during this year by the Madras Pioneers. A road 
from Fort White to Falam, the Tashon mother-village, was 
constructed. As the old site of Fort White still continued to 
be very unhealthy, the garrison and headquarters of the 
civil officer were moved back to a post hitherto known as 
No. 5 Stockade on the Letha Eange. 

The Chins to be controlled from Haka were found to be 
divisible into five tribes : 

1. The Tashons, a large tribe having their headquarters 
at Falam, half-way between Haka and Fort White. 

2. The Hakas, lying south of the Tashon country and 
round about Haka. 

3. The Klanklangs, to the west of the Haka tribe and 
between them and Fort Tregear, on the Chittagong side. 

4. The Yokwas, who lie to the south and east of the 
Hakas ; and lastly, 

5. The independent tribes, known generally by the nick- 
name of Baungshe, in the hills south of the Yokwas. 

Mr. D. Eoss,* the Assistant Commissioner who had 
accompanied General Symons's expedition, held Haka until 
March, 1891, when he had to leave on account of his health. 
* Mr. Eoss, after excellent service, died at Bangoon in 1910. 


He was succeeded by Mr. D. J. C. Macnabb,* Assistant 
Commissioner, a young soldier of a well-known stock. 
Friendly relations with the Chins were maintained. The 
road from Kan, in the Myittha Valley, to Haka, was kept 
open by Chin labour, and the regular postal service was 
performed by Chins. The Myittha Valley was not raided, 
and generally the Haka Yokwa tribes were well behaved. 
Trouble, however, came from the independent Baungshes, 
with whom, owing to their want of cohesion, it was difficult 
to deal. 

General Symons had left one weak spot in his work. 
There was a powerful village called Thetta, eight miles 
south of Yokwa. Of it he wrote : 

11 It has resisted all our efforts to bring it to complete 
submission, although some captives have been given up and 
a fine paid. . . . It is a blot on our work to have left this 
village unsettled, but it commands the Kan to Yokwa road, 
and I considered it better to leave it to stew in its obstinacy 
and isolation rather than resort to drastic measures which 
would have had the effect of driving the inhabitants into the 
jungles and making the road unsafe. The boon of convoys 
and traders and others being able to use safely and freely 
the road between Kan and Haka without escorts was too 
great to risk the loss of it for the satisfaction of an exercise 
of our power which, at the best in my opinion, would have 
had but little effect in bringing about the desired result." 

At the same time he recorded his opinion that unless the 
Thetta people gave in, the political officer would have to 
visit and compel them. 

It was the old story. The Thettas thought forbearance 
was the sign of weakness and fear. In November, 1890, 
they became openly hostile. They committed a series of 
outrages, and at last brought matters to a head by killing 
Mr. Wetherell, a young police officer, and attempting the 
life of the political officer, Mr. Macnabb. In January, 1891, 
a force of one hundred and forty rifles started from Haka 
to punish the village. They had no guns. The village was 
strongly stockaded. Lieutenant James, E.E., and two 
Gurkha sepoys were killed, and the officer commanding 

* Mr. Macnabb is now Major Macnabb, Commissioner of the Sagaing 
(formerly called Central) Division of Upper Burma. 


decided that he could not storm the defences without heavy 
loss. The Chins were invited to a parley, and they agreed 
to pay a small fine for their misconduct and to yield an 
annual tribute in future. 

Such an arrangement was for us equivalent to a defeat. 
It was decided to take up the coercion of the Baungshes in 
a businesslike manner. Two strong columns, with guns, 
were despatched, one from Haka with Mr. Boss as political 
officer, the other from Gungaw with Mr. Macnabb. They 
met at Thetta without opposition, and recovered the fine 
which the Thetta villagers had promised to pay, and 
traversed the Baungshe country, receiving the submission 
of the villagers. 

Thetta, however, was not yet subdued. They had defied 
us, killed our men, and escaped with a small fine. In 1894 
they began to rob and murder, and when they were called to 
account they behaved themselves proudly. On the 1st of 
January, 1895, a force under Major Keary, D.S.O., of the 
6th Burma Kifles, with Mr. H. N. Tuck as political officer, 
occupied the village, arrested the chiefs, and disarmed 
the villagers. The chiefs were afterwards degraded in 
open Durbar. 

But the year 1891 was not to close without further 
difficulty. General Symons, reporting to the Chief Com- 
missioner from Haka, dated the 1st of May, 1890, wrote 
(para. 9) : 

" The Klanklangs are almost a separate tribe, but they 
are Baungshes and live on fairly good terms with the Hakas. 
The Yokwas do not march with the Klanklangs, neither are 
they friendly with them. (10) The Klanglangs, finding 
themselves at the beginning of the year between the Burma 
and Chittagong Columns, made haste to submit to the troops 
entering their country, and readily agreed to easy terms 
imposed. (11) The settlement with the Klanklangs and 
their chief, Ya Hnit whom, to suit the convenience of the 
Chittagong officials, we are now agreed to call ' Jahoota '- 
was very rightly left to me as the representative of the 
local Government of Burma. The Klanklang Ywama 
(chief village) is only sixteen miles from Haka, and Jahoota 
and other head chiefs live there. . . . I do not think this 
tribe will give us any more trouble. The meeting of the 


Eastern and Western Columns in their territory, and the 
continual passing of troops backwards and forwards without 
committal of harm or excess, has had the best effect." 

In March, 1891, Mr. Macnabb, with Lieutenant Mocatta 
and one hundred rifles, set out to visit the Klanklangs and 
to meet an official from Fort Tregear at Tao. The tribe, 
which had surrendered to General Symons, was held to be 
friendly. The road passed through their hills, and there was 
no thought of interfering with them. They had, however, 
been raiding on the Lushai side, and it was intended to warn 
them to abstain from this. On the outward march to Tao 
the Klanklang chiefs did not appear. They were said to be 
occupied in propitiating their Nats, or guardian spirits, 
and to be very drunk. Mr. Macnabb, therefore, postponed 
his interview until he came back from Tao. On the return 
march a large body of Chins, said to have been seven or 
eight hundred, suddenly fell upon the small column, which 
fought its way on to Klanklang with some difficulty, losing 
five men killed and ten wounded, and one British officer 
(Lieutenant Forbes) wounded. Keinforcements from Haka, 
under Colonel Mainwaring, met the returning column at 
Klanklang and saved them from further loss. Officers and 
men had behaved admirably. A fine of guns and money 
was imposed on the tribe, and preparations were made for 
enforcing it. 

Before the preparations were complete Jahoota came 
suing for peace. He proved that he had been away and had 
had no concern in the treacherous attack, which had been 
organized by two subordinate chiefs in his absence. He 
brought in guns and other valuables in part payment of the 
fine, and was ordered to produce the two offenders and to 
raze their houses to the ground. As the culprits were not 
surrendered, the political officer, with three hundred rifles, 
visited Klanklang in May. He found that the houses had 
been destroyed, but the two men had fled. Some of the 
villages paid their shares of the fines ; but others held out, 
and owing to the lateness of the season and want of trans- 
port, it was impossible to coerce them. Jahoota, in proof 
of his good faith, gave up his eldest son as a hostage, and 
he was left to re-establish his authority. There has been no 
difficulty since in managing these Baungshe tribes, and in 


the years 1894-5 they, as well as all the southern tribes, 
were disarmed. 

The control of the rude southernmost Chins, known as 
Chinboks, Chinbons, and Yendus, was exercised at first by 
a subdivisional officer stationed at Yawdwin. From 
Lieutenant Rainey's expedition up to January, 1891, no 
disturbance occurred. In that month a very daring raid 
was made on Yawdwin itself, and the place looted under the 
eyes of the police garrison. Further raids followed, and a 
strong force of regular troops had to be sent to restore 
order. A military post was established within the hills. 
In 1896 this post also was attacked. The country was 
then placed under efficient administrative control. Posts 
were established in suitable places. A civil officer with 
sufficient powers was appointed to live in the hills and 
govern the people. His headquarters are now at Kanpetlet, 
on the slopes of Mount Victoria, some 6,000 feet above the 
sea-level. And a small force of Gurkha military police 
under a British officer is maintained there. Raiding has 
ceased, and the people have been disarmed. In other 
respects twenty years have not changed them much. In 
the Burma Gazetteer (of 1908, vol. ii. p. 393) it is 
recorded : 

" The inhabitants of the tract are practically all animists. 
The Chinbok men wear a very scanty loin-cloth, and are 
seldom seen without their bows and arrows. The women's 
dress consists of a smock and a short skirt. The females 
have their faces tattooed." 

It may be doubted whether Western civilization will make 
them happier. Tattooing is more lasting and more con- 
ducive to domestic peace than paint and powder. It is 
cheaper in the long run. 


OF the many other parts which go to make up the work- 
ing machinery of a great province nothing has been 
said, as the object of this account is to show how peace and 
order were restored, or rather given, to Burma. Along and 
step by step with this rough work, however, every part 
of an advanced administration began to take shape. There 
was none which was not, at the very least, called into 

The revenue of Upper Burma increased from 222,000 
in 1886-7 to 1,120,000 in the year 1889-90. No new 
taxes were imposed. The revenue grew by careful adminis- 
tration. From the year 1888 I had the assistance of Mr. 
Fryer as Financial Commissioner in dealing with this branch 
of the work, and the subject of the land revenue of the 
Upper Province was examined more minutely than had been 
possible before. In 1889 a regulation declaring the law 
relating to rights of land and formulating a complete system 
of revenue law for Upper Burma was framed in Burma, 
and passed by the Governor- General in Council. In it 
provision was made for the gradual survey and assessment 
of the land ; and before the end of 1890 the cadastral survey 
had broken ground in two districts in which the cultivated 
area was largest. 

The Forest Department had been busy from the first, 
and progress had been made in ascertaining the condition 
and resources of the great teak forests of Upper Burma. 

The Government of India had treated Burma with 
generosity in the matter of money for public works. The 
extent of our undertakings was limited by the difficulty 
of obtaining a competent staff, rather than by a deficiency 

23 337 


of funds. The expenditure on barracks and other accommo- 
dation for troops at stations where garrisons were to be 
permanently kept was necessarily large. At district head- 
quarters in civil stations, court-houses, and (where neces- 
sary) jails had been built, and court-houses had also been 
provided in many subdivisions. The irrigation works in 
Kyaukse were not neglected, and the Mu Canal scheme 
in the Shwebo district had been taken in hand. The rail- 
way to Mandalay was opened in March, 1889, and the 
surveys for the Mu Valley line, which was to take the rails 
up the right bank of the river and through all the difficult 
country traversed by Major Adamson's expedition in 1887-8, 
had been completed and construction had begun. 

Great attention had been paid to the improvement of 
communications, including several difficult hill-roads. A 
good cart-road had been made from the river to the ruby 
mines. Another from Mandalay to Maymyo was being 
taken on to Lashio ; and, from Meiktila to Kalaw on the 
Shan plateau, seventy-six miles, a road was well advanced. 
The land-locked Yaw country had been opened up, and 
a mule-track from Kalewa on the Chindwin to Fort White 
in the Chin Hills had been finished. Koads over the Yomas, 
which had sheltered the Magwe dacoits, had been com- 

The money, poured into the country for roads and build- 
ings, apart from the railway expenditure, was nearly all 
spent on native labour and on material produced in the 
country. In the aggregate it was more than the sums 
received as revenue. That it, along with the railway 
expenditure on labour, helped largely in settling the country 
directly and indirectly, is certain. If Indian and Chinese 
Shan coolies were employed, it was because Burman labour 
was not forthcoming. 

Nor had some of the refinements of administration been 
neglected. In the larger towns a simple system of muni- 
cipal government was introduced, care being taken not to 
hurry a somewhat primitive people accustomed to corrupt 
methods and with little sense of responsibility along the 
slippery paths of local self-government. 

In the middle of 1890 a Judicial Commissioner was 
appointed for Upper Burma. I accepted this refinement 


more reluctantly than I would have welcomed a reduction 
of the garrison. But the character of the man appointed to 
the post (the late Mr. Hodgkinson) was an assurance that 
there would be no display of judicial pyrotechnics, such as 
lawyers sometimes indulge in, and that some regard would 
be paid to the conditions under which our officers were 

The provision of medical aid for the people was taken in 
hand energetically, under the guidance of Dr. Sinclair, who 
administered the medical department of the whole of Burma. 
It was not possible to provide substantial public hospitals, 
and at first only temporary buildings were erected. Excel- 
lent permanent hospitals had been built for the military 
police, and on their withdrawal it was intended that these 
buildings should be converted into civil hospitals. 

Vaccination was introduced also, and every district was 
furnished with the means of protection against smallpox. 
The people came readily to be vaccinated, and no Burman, 
so far as I know, expressed an objection, conscientious or 
other, to being protected from the ravages of a loathsome 
disease. But they are comparatively a backward race and 
still have much to learn. 

In the matter of education, it was not the time to do much, 
and I was inclined to walk very warily in Upper Burma. 
The Director of Public Instruction was sent round the 
province in 1889 to examine the condition of the existing 
schools ; and on his report a beginning was made by appoint- 
ing an inspector and some assistant inspectors, more to 
ascertain and collate facts than with a view to active inter- 
ference. Later on the grant-in-aid rules in force in the 
lower province were introduced. The author of the Burma 
Gazetteer (vol. i., p. 132) writes : " Missionary schools are 
now plentiful, and lay schools, both public and private, 
abound ; but the bed-rock of vernacular education in Burma 
is still monastery teaching, and with it is intimately bound 
up the educational welfare of the people." 

I am inclined to agree with this statement. The system 
of monastic schools has, I think, been an immense boon 
to the people of Burma, and if only the monks could be 
roused to educate themselves more and to cast off some 
of their old ideas I should like to see it maintained. 


The danger is that the contact with Western knowledge 
and ascertained fact may destroy the belief of the young 
Burmans in the monastic teaching, and this danger is 
increased, if it is not caused, by the superstitious ignorance 
of the monks and their inability to disentangle the moral 
teaching of their great founder from the cobwebs of fairy 
tales, about the form and nature of the earth and the like. 
With this in mind, a beginning was made towards inducing 
the Pongyis to employ certificated assistant teachers in 
the monastic schools. 

Western teaching may, however, have less effect on 
Eastern faiths than we think. I was visiting a lay school in 
Burma one day, I forget where, but I was talking to one of 
the pupils, a very intelligent boy. I asked him about the 
shape of the earth, and so on. He had it all pat, the 
conventional proofs included. I said : " Now, you know 
what the Pongyis teach, which do you believe what you 
have learnt here, or in the monastery ? " He replied unhesi- 
tatingly, "What the Pongyis tell me, of course." "Why 
then," I asked, " did you say the earth was round and 
went round the sun? " " Oh," he said, " I must say that 
or I should not pass the examinations; but I believe the 
other." There may be more intelligent students, even at 
a riper age, of the same mind as this boy. Sometimes, 
perhaps, in the West, it is the other way about. 

On the 10th of December, 1890, I surrendered my charge 
to Sir Alexander Mackenzie,* one of the ablest men of 
his time in India. 

In his summary of the Administration Beport of Burma, 
for the year 1890-1, dated December 21, 1891, is written: 
" Upper Burma being now perfectly tranquil, it is not 
necessary to describe separately the progress made in the 
pacification of each district. The fact that there were 
fewer crimes in Upper than in Lower Burma during the year 
is sufficient proof that except in certain frontier tracts the 
work is complete." 

It is pleasant to most of us to know that our work is 
appreciated by others. It pleased me the other day, and 
it may please those for whom I have put together this 

* The late Sir Alexander Mackenzie, K.C.S.I., afterwards Lieutenant- 
Governor of Bengal. 


rough account of the pacification of Burma to read this 
passage from the " Shans at Home," by Mrs. Leslie Milne 
and the Rev. Wilbur Willis Cochrane (p. 29) : 

"At the time of the annexation, every part of the Shan 
highlands west of the Salween was ravaged with war, 
Shans against Shans and Burmans against them all. To 
bring peace and an era of prosperity, put an end to feuds, 
settle the disputes of princes, re-establish the people in their 
homes, and organize out of chaos a helpful and strong 
government was no easy task. That it was accomplished 
with so small a force, so quickly and with so little opposi- 
tion, was due to the energy, ability, and tact of the British 
officials upon whom the Government had placed responsi- 

" Immediately after the annexation, began the era of im- 
provement. Twenty-four years have passed since then. The 
British peace officers have retired, or are retiring, but they 
leave behind them a prosperous and peaceful people. The 
towns are growing towards their former dimensions ; wealth 
and trade are increasing beyond all expectations. Population 
is rapidly increasing. A mother with her little child can 
travel alone from Mogaung to the border of Siam, and from 
Kengtung to Rangoon, with comfort and perfect safety." 


Adamson, C.I.E., Major C. H. E. 
Deputy Commissioner of Bhamo 
76, 239-267, 338 
Aitchison, Sir Charles, 20, 56 
Akyab, 330 
Alelet (central division of Hsenwi) 

140, 160, 169, 173 
Allahabad, 20 

Alomphra, House of, 38, 227 
A16n, 88, 289 
Amarapura, 39 
Amats (ministers), 268 
American Baptist Missionaries, work 

among the Karens, 51, 80 
Amir Mahomed, death of, 87 
Andamans, 112 

Anderson, Brigadier-General, 29 
Arakan Mountains, 62, 148, 293 
Arbuthnot, Sir Charles, Commander- 
in-chief of the Madras Army, 29, 284 
Arbuthnot, Gillanders, 45 
Archer, Mr. W. J. (H.M. acting vice- 
consul at Chiengmai), 167, 168, 219, 

Armstrong, Captain, 240 
Assam, Valley of, 134, 311 
Atkinson, Captain, killed, 28 
Aung Bet, 112 

Ava, Court of, 19 ; training of police 
at, 64, 65, 99 ; King of, 1 ; king- 
dom of (subdivision of Sagaing), 8, 
31,118,143,270; invaded, 65 


Barron, Surgeon-Major, 250 
Barrow, Major (now Sir Edmund 

Barrow), 219 
Bassein, 40, 48 


Balu stream, 195 
Bangkok, 134, 167, 168, 191 
Baungshe tribe (Tashons), 288, 332, 

334, 336 
Baw (or Maw) submitted to General 

East, 33, 49 
Bawlake, 191 
Bawyethat Pagoda, 150 
Bayfield, Lieutenant (explorer of Jade 

Mines, 1838), 238 
Bayengan or Viceroy of Myingun 

Prince, 31, 84, 87-89 
Bengal boundary, 130 
Benson, Lieutenant, 264, 267 
Bernard, Sir Charles, arrival, 7, 8; 
code, 10; roads, &c., 56, 66; 
irrigation, 69 ; village disarmament, 
81 ; meeting with Hkun Saing, 142, 
146 ; policy towards Shan States, 

Bernard Myo, 46, 47, 271 
Seville, Captain, 88, 295 
Bhamo, 8, 30, 40, 44, 67, 74-79; 
description of Bhamo, 234-241, 309 
Bigandet, Bishop, 37 
Binbong, 272 
Blundell, Major, 277 
Bo Cho, 83, 114 
Bo-hmu, 144 
Bo-hmumintha, 135 
Bo Le, death of, 115, 116 
Bombay, 20 ; Burma Company working 
the teak forests, 116, 121 ; sappers 
and miners, 148 
Bo Nyo U, 88 
Bo Saga, 291 
Bo Saing, 154 
Bo Sawbwa, 85 

Bo Swe", story of, 26-28, 62, 82 
Bo Ti, 250-264 



Bo Tok, 65, 99 

Brahmaputra, 134 

Bridges, Mr. J. E., Deputy Com- 
missioner, 146 

Browning, Mr. Colin, 92, 104 

Buddha, teaching of, 44 ; Yaza, 117 

Buddhists (Shan), 134 

Burgess, C.S.I., Mr. G. D. (Judicial 
Commissioner, Upper Burma), 12, 
29, 30, 92 

Burma, boundaries of, 3 

Burma, Upper, incorporated with 
India, 8; scheme of government, 
8 ; scheduled district, 10 ; divisions 
of provinces, 12; description of 
districts, 30-36 ; marches of, 130 

Burma, Lower, village organization, 
22, 53; dacoity, 23; defective 
police arrangements, 52; evil of 
arming villages, 53; evil of 
mixed police, Indian and Burman, 
53, 54; King of, 76, 125, 134-138, 
144, 148, 169, 175 

Burmans, country of the, 133 ; 
military police, 64, 65; special 
constables, 80 

Buyers, Mr. G. D., chief engineer, 
Mandalay Railway, 61 

Byaing Gyi, 109 

Calcutta, 20, 24, 128 

Cambodia, 134 

Carey, Mr. Bertram, 314, 319-321, 

326, 331 
Carter, Mr. G. M. S., 47, 85, 89 ; sent 

with Colonel Symons to Sagaing, 

104, 295 
Chaungwa, 86, 87 ; Ava district, 146, 

147 ; Prince, 160 
Chaungu, 297, 329 
Chaungzon, 300, 329 
Chefan, 278 

Chieng Kong given to Siam, 232 
Chiengmaai (or Zimme), 167-169 
China, care in dealing with, 21 ; and 

Upper Burma, 40 ; opium traffic , 

40-44 ; rights over Kang Hung, 232 
Chinbdks, 327-336 
Chinbons, 327-336 
Chinbyil, 88, 89 

Chindwin, Lower, 8, 33, 64, 84, 99, 
105 ; river, 92, 120, 133, 288, 294, 

Chinese in Bhamo, 74, 75; Shans, 
75 ; threaten the frontier, 76, 77 ; 
in Hsenwi, 138 ; attitude to Trans- 
Salween States, 136 

Chingaing, 290, 291 

Chins, disarmament of, 81, 100, 101 ; 
country, 131, 294; Chin-Lushai, 
308-336; expedition against the, 
287-307; five tribes, 332 

Chitpauk, 296 

Chittagong Hills, 293 ; column, 319- 

Clarke, Major 0. L. I., 219 

Clement, Colonel, assists in capture of 
Bo Swe, 82 

Clements, Lieutenant, 264 

Close, Surgeon J. K., 219 

Cochrane, Eev. Wilbur Willis, 285 

Cockran, Colonel, 272 

Collett, C.B., Brigadier-General H., 
192, 195 

Collins, Mr. G. G., 108, 120, 121 

Colquhoun, Mr. Archibald, 271 

Cooke, Captain (of Burman Com- 
mission), 235, 236 

Cox. Brigadier-General, 30 

Crimmin, Captain, Indian Medical 
Service (Surgeon-Lieut. -Col. John 
Crimmin, V.C., C.I.E.), 195 

Cronin, Colonel, senior medical officer, 

Cross, Lord, 17 

Crosthwaite, K. C.S.I., Sir Charles 
H. T., 3 ; former service in British 
Burma, 19; offered Chief Com- 
missionership and summoned to 
Calcutta, 20, 21 ; relieves Sir C. 
Bernard at Eangoon, 24 ; arrival at 
Mandalay, 26 ; return to Eangoon, 
50; leaves for Upper Burma, 62; 
leaves Ava for Sagaing and meets 
Sir George White, 65 ; examination 
of irrigation system, 69 ; reduction of 
field force considered, 72 ; arrange- 
ments for Durbar at Mandalay, 74 ; 
visits Bhamo, 74 ; speech at Manda- 
lay Durbar, commendation by Lord 
Dufferin, 76 ; on transferring men, 
78, 79 ; disarmament letter to Lord 



Dufferin, 80-82; visits Thayetmyo 
and district, 90 ; letter to Viceroy on 
police posts, 97 ; administration of 
Shan States, 100; conferred with 
Lord Dufferin, 100, 102; visit to 
Minbu, 108; visit to Popa, 114; 
meeting with General Symons at 
Magwe, 118 ; consultations with 
men of the Magwe district, 119 ; 
transfer of Mr. G. G. Collins to 
Magwe, 120 ; return to Mandalay, 
120 ; on sick-leave to Nilgiri Hills, 
120 ; accompanies H.K.H. Prince 
Albert Victor of Wales, to Manda- 
lay, 121 ; action against dacoits, 
123 ; Durbar in the Shan States, 
124, 125 ; scheme for reduction 
of the military police, 129-130; 
correspondence with the Viceroy, 
128 ; appointment of Colonel 
Cockran, 272 ; appoints Maung 
Ket's nephew ruler over Kale, 288 ; 
decision not to absorb Kale, 292 ; 
establishes posts along the Chin 
frontier, 296 ; proclamation to the 
Tashons, 312 ; account of internal 
administration, 337-341 ; visit to 
lay school, 340 

Crowther, Mr., inspector of police, 264 

Gumming, Colonel, 67 

Cuppage, Mr., wounded while fighting 
against Set Kya, 70, 71 

Custance, Mr., 83 

Dabayen, 88 

Dacoits, Mandalay, Ye-u, Mu, 71; 
Sagaing, 72, 103 ; Government, 112; 
measures taken against, 123 

Dalhousie, Lord, 1 

Daly, C.S.I., C.I.E., Lieut. -Colonel 
Hugh, agent to the Governor- 
General in Central India, 100; 
assisted Mr. Hildebrand against the 
Shans (1887), 165, 170-178, 272-276, 
278, 285 

Daniell, Mr., 278-280 

Darrah, Mr., Assistant Commissioner, 
killed by Set Kya's men, 70 

Darwin, Dr., 219, 226 

Davies, Major H. B., 134 

Davis, Captain, principal medical 
officer of the Field Force, 58 

Deccan, 20 

Disarmament (village regulation), 80- 

Dufferin, Lord, minute by, 9, 11 ; meet- 
ing with Sir Charles Crosthwaite, 
24 ; on surrender of Limbin Prince, 
60 ; aids Sir Charles Crosthwaite in 
obtaining funds for engineering work, 
70; commendation on Sir Charles 
Crosthwaite' s speech at the Durbar, 
76 ; with regard to the Shan Ex- 
pedition, 77, 78; writes on the 
action at Chinbyit, 89 ; policy as to 
autonomous States, 92 ; agreement 
with Sir Charles Crosthwaite's views 
as to police posts, 98; roads 
through the Chin country, 101 ; on 
the work done in Burma, 102 ; left 
India, 128 

Dunsford, Captain, killed, 28 

Durbar, Mandalay, 76; Shan States, 
124, 125 ; Kengtung, 231 

Dyson, Mr., Assistant Commissioner 
at Magwe, 117, 118 


Ein-she-min, or War Prince, the 

Limbin Prince, 157 
Elias, C.I.E., Mr. Ney, Chief of the 

Commission to survey the Frontier 

and settle disputed points, 219, 220 ; 

decisions confirmed, 232 
Eliott, Lieutenant L. E., 259-263, 264, 

Expenditure and Revenue, Upper 

Burma, army, military police 

force, incoming revenue, 69, 70 
Eyre, Captain, 29, 290, 297 

Falam, Tashon capital, 310, 312, 320 ; 
headquarters of the Civil Administra- 
tion, Chin Hills, 324 

Faunce, General, 287 ; Chin Expedi- 
tion, 306 ; Chin Lushai, 308, 313 ; 
left Burma, 313 

Feudatory States of India, 126, 127 

Forbes, Lieutenant, 335 

Forrest, Major, wounded, 278 



Fort Stedman, 124, 126, 147, 151-156, 
158, 160, 161, 164, 167, 186 

Fort Tregear, 332, 335 

Fort White, formerly Toklaing, 304, 
310, 324 

Foster, Lieutenant, killed, 318 

Fowler, Lieutenant (of the Beleuchis), 
185, 188, 189 

France, contact on the Siamese fron- 
tier to be avoided, 211 

French, Indo-China, 130; dominions 
in Tonquin China, 212; secret 
treaty with the King of Burma, 214 ; 
obtained the Treaty of Chantabun, 

Frere, Sir Bartle, 99 

Fryer, Mr. F. W. (now Sir Frederick 
Fryer), Commissioner of the Central 
Division, 12, 29, 55, 104 

Fuller, B.A., Captain, 264 


Gangaw, 290, 293, 296, 297-328 

Gantarawadi, 153, 183 

Garfit, Major, 272, 273 

Gastrell, Captain, Commandant of the 

Mandalay battalion, 99 
Gatacre, Brigadier- General, 280 
Gaudama, Legend of, 38 
Gaungu, 300 
Gleeson, Mr., 33 
Gleig, Major, 290 
Golightly, Captain (Colonel B. E. 

Golightly, D.S.O.), 32 
Gordon, Major, arrives at Salin with 

reinforcements, 28 
Gould, Mr., H.M. Bepresentative at 

Bangkok, 203 
Gracey, B.E., Major, chief engineer, 

Upper Burma, 67-68 
Greenaway, Major, 278, 279 
Gungaw, 334 

Haitsi Lope tribe, 331 

Haka, 316, 332-334 

Hakas, 288, 309, 332 

Hartnoll, Mr. H. S., Deputy Commis- 
sioner Minbu, 108, 109 

Harvey, Colonel, 191 ; arrival at 
Papun, 192 

Hastings, Captain, Commandant of the 
military police at Myingyan (Major - 
General Edward Spence Hastings, 
D.S.O.), 63, 64, 98, 113 

Hawker, Lieutenant, 264-266 

Hertz, Mr. H. F., 277, 279 

Hertz, Mr. W. A., 108 

Hext, B.N., Captain John, Director 
of the Indian Marine (now Bear- 
Admiral Sir John Hext, K.C.I.E.), 
48, 71 

Heins (Karenni chiefs of divisions), 

Hildebrand, Mr. , 35 ; accepts the sur- 
render of the Limbin Prince, 60 ; 
at Mandalay, to meet Sir Charles 
Crosthwaite, 74, 76, 77 ; visit to 
Shan States, 100, 124 ; made Civil 
head in the expedition against the 
Shans, 148-187 ; connection with 
the Karennis, 188-208 

Himalaya, Eastern, 133 

Hkam Leng, 31, 47, 71 ; dacoit leader, 

Hkun Hmon, reinstated at Mawkmai, 
184, 188 

Hkun Kyi, 184 

Hkun Nu, 162 ; appointed Sawbwa of 
Lawksawk, 163 

Hkun Sa, 169 

Hkun Saing, first Shan chief to sub- 
mit to the British Government, 137, 
138, 140, 141, 160, 170, 172 ; con- 
cessions made to, 179 

Hkun Sang Mong Chen, 185, 186 

Hkun Ti, 155 

Hlaingdet, 148, 149 

Hla U, Sagaing District dacoit leader, 

Hlawga, 85-87 

Hlegyomaw, 263, 266 

Hlutlaw (or cabinet), 213 

Hmaw-waing jungles, 33 ; gang sur- 
renders, 60 

Hmethaya Prince, 270 

Hodgkinson, Mr., of the Special Com- 
mission, Lower Burma, 25 ; trans- 
ferred to Tennasserim, 56 ; ap- 
pointed Judicial Commissioner for 
Upper Burma, 338, 339 

Holland, Commander, of the Boyal 
Indian Marine Service, 311 



Homalin, 296 

Hopong, 151, 152, 154, 169 

Hoswata Shendoos, 319 

Hpon Kan, 274, 282 ; Kachins, 283 

Hpunkan, 44 

Hsahtung, 167; Myozaof, 169 ; range, 

Hsawnghsup, Sawbwa of, 33 

Hsen, the local headman in Laikha 
territory, 171 

Hsenmawng, 215 

Hsenwi, 44, 49, 137-139 ; Queen of, 
140, 141, 146; Alelet, 160; Cen- 
tral, 165, 166; boundaries fixed, 
revenue, <fec., 176, 177; Northern, 
165, 268 

Hsenyawt annexed to Kengtung, 215 

Hsipaw, 31, 137-147, 273 ; Sawbwa of, 
49, 136, 160, 161, 166 

Hsumhsai, 137, 141, 142, 160 

Hukawng Valley, 234 

Hyderabad, 20; Cavalry, 71 ; Infantry, 


Indaw Biver, 252 

Indawgyi Lake, 251 

Indiarubber tax, 40 

Indin, 288, 289, 296, 302 

Inle Lake, 124, 142 

Ilderton, Major, 60 

Ithi tribe, 266 

Ireland, F.R.G.S., Alleyne, 44 

Irrawaddy, 12, 108, 134, 241 ; Valley, 
30 133, 311 ; patrol steam launches, 
47 ; Flotilla Company, 235, 236 

Irrigation schemes, existing canals 
taken over by the British, 69 

Jackson, B.E., Lieutenant H. M., 157, 

180, 219 
Jade duties, 40; mines, farming of, 

expedition to, 234-267 
Jahoota or Ya Hnit, Chief of the 

Klanklangs, 325, 334, 335 
James, B.E., Lieutenant, 334 
Jameson, Mr., Inspector-General of 

Police in Lower Burma, 51, 52 
"Jhoom" or " Taungy a," primitive 

cultivation, 325 

Jubulpore, 20 
Jut, village of, 121 


Kabaw Valley, 92, 290, 296, 331 

Kachin Hills, 263 

Kachins, 75, 130, 131, 138-140, 150, 

161, 234-278; Sana, 263; Hpon 

Kan Kachins, 283; Lweseng, 276; 

Ton Hon, 276 
Kado on the Sal ween, timber collected, 


Kalas, or barbarians, 107 
Kala Thapa Sing, Gurkha chief, 277 
Kale, Sawbwa of, 33, 49, 288, 294; 

State, 290, 313, 316 
Kalemyo, 290, 311, 316, 328 
Kalewa, 290, 294, 297, 311, 812 
Kamaing, 251, 261 
Kambale, 296, 297, 302 
Kan, 296-299, 311, 315, 328 
Kang Hung, largest Trans-Salween 

State, 210, 213 
Kanglu, 185 
Kangyi, 302 

Kanhows, 287, 296, 306, 312, 331 
Kani, 33, 88 
Kanle, 84 
Kanpetlet, 330, 336 
Kansi Hla, Kansi Naung, rulers in the 

jade-mine hills, 252, 255 
Kantha, 296 
Karenni, Eastern, 100, 138 ; Western, 

151 ; States, 140, 142, 148, 154 ; 

chiefs, 151, 152 ; country, description 

of, 182 
Karennis, 163 ; expedition against the, 

Colonel Sartorius and Mr. Scott, 

Karens, Christian, Baptist Mission 

to, 51 ; as special constables, 80 ; 

scheme to enlist, 131, 132, 167 
Karwan, 282 

Katha, 8, 31, 93, 238, 257, 269 
Kaukon, 150 
Kaungi, residence of the Mongpai 

Sawbwa, 166 
Kaw Ferry, 224 
Kawlin, 93 
Kawpiti, 196 
Keary, Major D.S., 334 



Kehsi Mansi/151, 154, 169-173 

Kemmedine, 138 

Kengcheng, 143 

Keng Hkarn, 169, 223 

Kengtawng, 154, 156, 163, 167, 168 ; 
description of, by Mr. Scott, 223 

Kengtung, 136, 137, 139, 143-145, 168, 
210, 213 ; description of the city of, 
226, 227; Sawbwa, submits, 230- 

Kennedy, Major, 88, 295 

Khampat, 296 

Khuds, 304 

Kidderpore, 49 

Kingston, Major, 301 

Kin Le Gyi, maid - of - honour to 
Supayalat, 88 

Kin Mongs, headman, 173 

Kinwan Mingyi, Minister of State, 76 

Klanklangs submission of, 319 

Knox, Captain, 104 

Kokang, 43 

Kokkozu, 83 

Koset, 303 

Ko-up, 223 

Kubo Valley, 302 

Kugyo, 150, 151 

Kukis tribe, 331 

Kun Aw (Pa-6k-Chok of Mongyai), 

Kun Hmon, 218 

Kun Kyi, Sawbwa of Mongnai, 144, 
145, 158, 167 

Kunlon Ferry, 75, 178 

Kun Meik, 141 

Kun Noi, 218 

Kunze, 298 

Kyabin Myook, 83 

Kyadet, 87, 88 

Kyannyat, 46 

Kyatsakan, 149 

Kyaukhnyat, 192, 204 

Kyaukpyu, 330 

Kyaukse, 8, 13, 49, 65, 69, 99, 338 

Kyaw, 121, 295, 301 

Kyawgaung, 282 

Kwungli, 322 

Kyaw Zaw (Lawksawk chief) gang 
broken up, 232 

Kyem Meung, heir-apparent of Keng- 
tung, 228 

Kyungyaung, 279 

Lahore, 20 

Laikha, 151, 154, 156, 169 ; Sawbwa 
of, 171 

Lakun, tribe, 266 

Lanchein, 278 

Lansdowne, Marquis of, made Viceroy, 

Laos, 217 

Lashio, 140, 177, 223 

Late tribe, 331 

Lataung tribe, 263 

Laungshe, 329 

Lawksawk, 33, 99, 141-154, 162 

Legaing, 110 

Legya Queen, one of King Mindon's 
wives, 142 

Lepei tribe, 262, 263, 266 

Letha range, 303 

Leveson, Mr. H. G. A., of the India 
Civil Service and Burman Com- 
mission, 232 

Limbin Confederacy, 34, 143-151, 

Limbin Prince, 60, 145, 146, 151- 

Lindaung, 83 

Lockhart, General Sir William, 18; 
work in Eastern Division, 33 ; work 
among dacoits, 61 

Loikaw, 190-196 

Loilong, 167 

Lon Pein (Chinaman farmer of jade- 
mine taxes), 244-246 

Low, G.C.B. Brigadier-General Sir 
Kobert Cunliffe, 29, 64, 91, 102, 108 

Lugalegzi arrested, 121 

Lushai country, Chin-, 308-336 

Lweseng, 274, 276, 278, 280 


Macdonald, Captain, 264, 265 

MacDonnell, Mr. A. P. (now Lord 
MacDonnell, P.C., G. C.S.I.), 
Home Secretary to the Govern- 
ment of India acted for Sir Charles 
Crosthwaite when on sick-leave, 

Macgregor, Colonel, 301 

Mackenzie, K.C.S.L, Sir Alex., Lieut. - 
Governor, Bengal, 340 



Macnabb, Lieutenant D. J. C. (now 
Major Macnabb, Commissioner of 
the Sagaing Division), 64, 121, 333, 

Macpherson, Lieut. -General Sir Her- 
bert, transferred to Burma, death 
of, 18 

Magwe, 32, 61, 96, 99, 102; trouble 
in district of, 115-127 

Maingmawgyi, 136, 

Mainwaring, Colonel, 335 

Makau tribe, 263 

Maklang, famous banyan-tree Mai 
Hung Kan at, 223 

Malin, 275 

Mandalay, 2, 8, 19, 26, 31, 46, 67, 71, 
74, 88, 133, 137-142, 146, 160-164 ; 
and Lashio Railway, 61, 125, 126 ; 
and Shwebo Canal, 69 

Mandat, or temporary hall, 175 

Manders, Surgeon, 197 

Manglon, 160; chief's submission to 
British Government, 320 

Manhe", 241 

Manipur, 134 

Manpun, 271, 273 

Mansi, route for traders, 75, 178, 282, 

Manton, 278 

Marip tribe, 266 

Maung An Taw Ni, township officer 
of Legaing, 110 

Maung Ba, 88 

Maung Gyi, 33 

Maung Kala, dacoit leader, death of, 

Maung Kala, magistrate in British ser- 
vice, 236, 250 ; assassinated, 237 

Maung Kan, Thi, 109 

Maung Ket, Sawbwa of Kale, 288 

Maung Kin, 109 

Maung Lat, 33 

Maung Nwa, a Kale official, 305 

Maung Ohn, 60 

Maung Po Min, the interpreter, 86 

Maung Po O, 85 

Maung Sa, 141 

Maung Se, 141 

Maung Swe, story of, 27 

Maung Tha Dun, 289 

Maung Tha Gyi, 85-89 

Maung Tok San, 289 

Maung Ya Baw, 109 

Mawkmai, trade relations between 
Moulmein and, 157, 158, 165 ; Sawb- 
wa of, claims Mong Pu, 167-169, 
217 ; restored to Mong Mau and 
Mehsakun, 221 

May, Colonel, 31, led the troops against 
Set Kya, a pretender, 70 

Maymyo (Pinulwin) 31, 164 

Mehawnghsawn, 217 

Mehsakun, 216, 217, 221 

Meiktila, 8, 60, 61 

Mekong, Eiver, 133, 136, 143, 210, 232 

Menam, River, 133 

Mepai Chaung, 204 

Mewettaung Range, 156 

Milne, Mrs. Leslie, extract from 
"Shans at Home," 285 

Minbu, 8, 28, 32, 62, 69, 83, 91, 102, 
107, 119, 120, 330 

Mind6n, King of Upper Burma, reign, 
character, taxation, <fec., 3, 110, 139, 
140, 170, 270 ; wife of (Legya), 142 

Minhla, 7, 8, 26, 62, 90, 91 

Min 0, 106 

Minogue, Lieutenant, 99 

Mintainbin, 87 

Mintedaung tribe, 322 

Min Yaung, 32, 115 

Mobingyis tribe, 331 

Mobye, 192 

Mocatta, Lieutenant, 335 

Mogaung, 30, 77, 101 ; Expedition to, 

Mogok, capital of Ruby Mines, 81, 
45-47, 271 

Mohlaing, 31, 47 

Mohnyin, 238, 257 

Mole River (tributary of Irrawaddy), 
44, 240, 273 

Molo, 280 

M6n, Valley of, 83, 108 

Mong Hang, 168, 215 

Mong Hsat, 168, 169 

Mong Hsu, 172 

Mong Hta, 168, 215 

Mongkung, 151, 154 ; Myozas of, 169- 

Mong Kyawt, 168, 215 

Mong Leng, 268 

Monglon, 141, 142 

Mong Long, 139 



Mongmau, 216, 217 

Mongmit, Shan States, 31, 47, 268- 


Mongnai, town of, 137, 144, 146, 
151, 152; Sawbwa, 60, 136, 143, 
145, 152-169, 215 ; decorated, 124 
Mongnawng Sawbwa, 145 ; Myoza, 

169 ; town, 161 ; State, 172 
Mongpai Sawbwa accepts British 

suzerainty, 151, 152, 165, 166 
Mongpan, 165-169, 215 
Mongpawn, 153-158; Sawbwa, 145, 


Mongping, 151 
Mongpu, appropriated by Kengtung, 


Mongsang, 172 
Mongsit (son-in-law of Mongpawn), 

155 ; Myoza, 169 
Mong Tang, 215 
Mongtung, 142, 160, 168, 169 
Mongyai, 140, 160-167, 172 
Monywa, 68, 88 
Moring, Ltd., Alexander, 43 
Morison, C.E.I., Mr. Wm. Thomson, 
of the Indian Civil Service, Bom- 
bay Presidency, 85 ; joined Lieu- 
tenant Plumer, 86-87 
Moulmein, 133, 151, 157, 158, 211 
Mozo, 298 

Mu River, 71 ; Valley line, 338 
Mueng Fai, Siamese district of, 216 
Mwebingyi, Chief of, 320 
Mwelpi, 331 
Myat Hmon, 33, 60 
Myauk-Kodaung, 280 
Myelat (central division, Shan States), 
142, 149-150; submission of, 151, 
153, 166 
Myinmu, 64 

Myingun Prince, 31, 84, 214 
Myingyan, 8, 31, 63, 83, 92, 99, 102, 

110, 113, 116, 301 
Myinzaing Prince, 140, 141, 147 
Myitson, 269 
Myitkyina Bailway, 246 
Myittha Biver, 293, 311 
Myook, township officers and mem- 
bers of subordinate Civil Service, 

Myotha, 237 
Myothit, 32, 117 

Myo-thugyi Town Mayor of Pakokku, 
63 ; mother of, visited by Sir 
Charles Crosthwaite, 63 

Myowun, City Governor of Mandalay, 


Naga Caohar, 287 

Nagpur, 19 

Nam Pilu Biver, 152 

Nam Hkok Myoza, 169 

Namhsan, 177, 178 

Namkham, route for traders, 75, 285 

Nam Nyim Biver, 157 

Nam Pang Biver, 223 

Nam Teng Valley, 223 

Namthein Biver (affluent of Uyu) 253 

Nang Mya, niece of Mawkmai cheif, 

Ne Noi, 217 

Nang U, marriages, 144 
Nankathe Biver, 321; tribe, Trans-, 


Nanpapa, 261, 266 
Nanti, 241 
Napawng Biver, 251 
Natmauk, 116 
Natogyi, 83 
Naungmawn (brother of Mongpawn), 


Naw Hpa, Sawbwa of Hsenwi, 139, 
140, 146 ; submits to British Govern- 
ment, 147, 160, 166, 169, 173 
Naw Mong, son of Naw Hpa, 139, 140, 
146 ; submits to British Govern- 
ment, 147, 160, 166, 169, 173, 176- 

Nawng Wawn Myoza, 169 
Naylor, C.S.I., C.I.E., Mr. Henry 
Todd, of the Indian Civil Service, 
55; as Financial Commissioner of 
Burma, 55 ; sent to take charge of 
Magwe District, 120, 121 
Negrais, Cape, 287 
Neinsin, 284 
Ne" Noi, the Kolan or nine-fathom 

Sawbwa, 217 
Ne Nwe, 183 
Nga Aw, 166 
Nga Kaing, 195 

Nga Ke, one of Ya Nyun'smen, 111, 112 
Nga Kin, 109 
Nga Kway, 83 



Ngape, 27, 28 

Nga Pyo, 89 

Ngathaingyaung, 40 

Ngwite tribe, 331 

Nilgiri Hills, 120 

Ningyan, afterwards called Pyinmana, 

Nugent, Lieutenant commanding at 

Mongmit, killed, 271 
Nurtama, 83 
Nyaungbintha, 266 
Nyaungywe or Yawnghwe, 142 
Nwi-tes tribe, 331 

O'Donnell, Lieutenant (Colonel Hugh 
O'Donnell, D.S.O.), Bhamo and 
Mogaung affairs, 238, 240, 249, 260, 
261 ; report by, 265-267, 277 

Ogle, Mr. (India Survey Depart- 

A ment), 264 

6ktama, story of, 27-29, 32 ; methods 
of government, defence, <fec., 107- 
109; capture of, 110 

Opium regulations, 40, 41 ; Acts, 42, 
43; Buddha's teaching against, 44 

Padein, 28 

Pagan, 7, 8, 31, 63, 68, 83, 84, 91, 
102 ; Min, 3 ; Prince, 89 

Pagyi, 33, 84, 85, 88 

Pakangyi, 33 

Pakan Prince, 39 

Pakokku, 63, 92, 102, 290, 293-301, 
311, 316, 330 

Palaungs (Northern Shan tribe), 138, 
268, 276 

Palmer, R.E., Lieutenant, 302 

Panga Sawbwa, 263 

Panglon, 179 

Panlaung, valley of the, 31 

Panthays, 75, 150 ; methods of travel- 
ling, 222, 225 

Pa-6k-chok, 140, 160, 169, 173, 174 

Papun, 191, 192 

Pathans, 235 

Pauk, 83, 290, 295 

Paw Kwe, 47 

Payagon, 152 

Pazaung, 192 

Pegu, annexation of, 1 ; Yomas, 61, 

116; division, 90 
Peile, Captain S. C. F. (later Lieut.- 

Colonel), Executive Commissariat 

officer, 58 ; made director of supply 

to outposts of military police, 59 ; 

" History of Burma Military Police," 


Pe Mong Mountains, 225 
Phayas, local rulers, 168 
Phayre, Colonel Sir Arthur P., 27, 

134; Mr. Eobert, 26, 27 ; death of, 28 
Philippine Commission, 44 
Phillips, Lieutenant, 301 
Pin township, 117 
Pink, Captain Francis J. (Colonel 

F. J. Pink, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O.), 

Plumer, Lieutenant, accompanied Mr. 

W. T. Morison against Maung Tha 

Gyi, 85, 86 

Pobye, Karenni chief, 151, 152, 166 
Po Hkine, 122 
Poh Myah, 251 
Poi tribes, 322 
Police force, gradual creation of 

efficient, 128-132; military, 54, 

68 ; posts and patrols, military 

replaced by police, 95-99 ; work of 

Indian, 97 
Pon Chaung, 196 
Pondaung Eange, 84, 85, 294 
Pondicherry, 31 
Pongyis, 37-40, 62, 150; monks and 

teachers, 339, 340 
Po 0, 85 

Popa Mountain district, 31, 91 ; coun- 
try, 98, 110 
Porter, Mr., Deputy Commissioner, 

Pyinmana, 121 
Po Saung, 83 
Po Saw, 243-274 
Prendergast, General Sir Harry, 2, 8, 


Prome, 26, 121 

Public Works Service grants, 67, 68 
Pu Chang Se banished (first husband 

of Nang Mya), 217 
Pulley, Captain, 152 
Punjab, 94 ; Northern, 311 
Punjabis, 84, 154 
Pwehla, 148, 150 



Pyindeik Pass, 149 
Pyinmana, 13, 61, 116, 120 
Pyinulwin, 31, 70 
Pyinyaung, 149 

Quesne, Captain Le (Army Medical 
Corps), awarded Victoria Cross, 305 


Baikes, Captain (afterwards Major), 
Deputy Commissioner, Chindwin, 
85 ; system to overthrow dacoits, 
105, 106; meeting with Tashon 
chiefs, 289 ; Chin-Lushai campaign, 
311, 312 ; illness of, 328 

Eailways, Tengyneh, 75 ; Toungoo- 
Mandalay, Mandalay-Lashio, 124; 
Mu Valley line, &c., 338 

Bainey, Lieutenant B. M. (now Colonel 
Bainey-Bobinson), commandant of 
the Levy (Chin Frontier Camp), 
328, 336 

Bajputs, 43 

Bangoon, 2, 7, 50, 51, 54, 59, 61, 65, 
138, 151, 157, 166, 270 

Beduction of Field Force, 70-73 

Bevenue, 337 

Bichards, Lieutenant, 264 

Bichards, Mr., assisted Sir Charles 
Bernard, Superintending Engineer 
of Public Works Department, 66 

Bimmer, Mr. , Commander in the Irra- 
waddy Flotilla Service, 244, 245 

Bipon, Lord, 19 

Boads and communications in Burma, 
66-68, 100, 338 

Boberts, Sir Frederick, sanctions rein- 
forcements, 17, 18 ; search for da- 
coits, 28 

Boss, Mr. D., 290, 301, 314, 328, 
332, 334 

Buby Mines, 8, 31, 44 ; concession to, 
46; military police at, 58; British 
occupation of, 268; operations in, 

Bumai, 43 

Bundall, Captain F. M., 330-332 


Sadaw, 40 
Safdar Ali, a Mussulman (native of 

India), interpreter in Bhamo and 
Mogaung, 245 

Saga, a dacoit leader, 121, 122, 191, 

Sagadaung, 46 

Sagaing, 8, 64, 88, 96, 99, 103, 118, 119 

Sagu, 108 

Sagyilains, 287, 292-331 

Sagyun, 83 

Sakangyi, 197 

Salin, 28, 64, 83, 108 

Salween, hill tracts, 148; river, 133, 
139, 143, 158, 169, 209-233 ; 
Trans-, 136, 139, 158, 163, 170, 
209-233; Cis-, 139, 169, 180, 209- 

Sam6n, Valley of, 31 

Sana, 266 

Sang Aw, 140, 173 

Sang Hai (usurper Hsenwi), 139 

San Ton Hon, 49, 77, 139-147, 160, 
161, 166, 169, 172-176, 178 

Sartorius, C.B., Colonel George Con- 
rad, of the Beleuchi Begiment, 184, 
185, 188 

Sassum tribe, 266 

Sawadi, 282 

Sawbwas, superior chiefs, Shan States, 
office of, sons of, 134-136, 161 

Sawlapaw, chief of Eastern Karenni, 
138, 153, 154, 166, 167, 183-207 

Sawlapawgyi, 153 

Sawlawi, the Kya Maurig, or heir- 
apparent of Sawlapaw, 198; ap- 
pointed chief of Karenni, order of 
his appointment, 202 

Sawldn (capital of Eastern Karenni), 
191 ; occupation of, 192 ; descrip- 
tion of, 197 

Saw Mong, Sawbwa of Yawnghwe, 
142^ 143, 281 

Saw On, Sawbwa of Yawnghwe, 143, 
146, 350, 166, 179, 182 

Saw Waing, ex- Sawbwa of Lawksawk, 
154, 214 

Saw Yan Naing, 49, 146, 270-281 

Scott, Mr. J. G. (Sir J. George Scott, 
K.C.I.E.), 43 ; expedition against 
the Shans, 148-187; appointed to 
assist Mr. A. H. Hildebrand, 209, 
216, 219, 220 ; expedition to Trans- 
Salween States, 224-233 



Segrave, Mr., Superintendent of 
Police, 274 

Set kya, a pretender, attacked by 
Colonel May, 70, 99 ; captured by 
the Lawksawk chief, 232 

Shan Hills, 31, 99 ; plateau or thonze, 
92, 141, 148 ; race, or Tai branch, 
133, 144 

Shan States, difficulties in dealing 
with, 21, 34; durbar, 76, 77, 124- 
127; expedition against, 133-187; 
at peace and policy, 159-164 

Shans, Chinese, 138; effort to win 
confidence of, 148, 152 ; Sawbwas, 
153 ; at home, quoted, 285 

Shaw, Mr., accompanied Major Green- 
away, 279 

Shawy, Yoe (nom de plume of Mr. J. 
G. Scott), 148 

Sherriff, Mr., Representative of Ran- 
goon Chamber of Commerce, 285 

Shitywagyaung, 294 

Shonshe", 301 

Shwebo, 8, 31, 88 

Shwe Gya, 248-254, 264' 

Shwegyin, 54 

Shwegyobyu, Prince of Lower Chind- 
win, 84, 85, 290, 292, 312 

Shwekinyo Prince, 115 

Shweli, Lower, 269 

Shwe Yan (guerilla leader), invades 
Ava and Kyaukse districts, 65, 
270 ; death of, 99 

Siam, 138 

Siamese, 136-138 ; claim to Shan 
country, 167-169 ; claim to Karenni, 
202-208; invasion of Kengtung, 
214-216; methods of marking 
villagers, 221 

Sibsong Panna (twelve provinces), 233 

Sidoktaya, 32 

Sihaung, 293, 297 

Sikaw, 274 

Simla, embassy to, 19 ; Sir George 
White's despatch from, 98 

Simpson, Sir Benjamin, K.C.I.E., 
surgeon-general, 91 

Sinbo, 238, 241, 266 

Sinbyugyun, 49, 83 

Singu, 149, 150 

Sinkan, 270, 274, 275, 282 

Sipein, 280 

Sittang River, 12 ; Valley, 30, 32 

Si-u, 274, 280 

Siyins, 287, 292, 293, 312, 320, 322 ; 
submission of the, 324, 331 

Skene, Colonel, 319, 320 

Sladen, Colonel (Sir E. B. Sladen), 
7, 8 

Smeaton, Mr. (the late Donald Mac- 
kenzie Smeaton, C.S.I., M.P.), made 
Chief Secretary, 56 ; Commissioner 
of Central Division, account of 
cruelty of dacoits in Pagyi country, 
121, 122 

Sokte tribe, 287, 322, 331 

Sonpek, Tashon chief, 289, 294 

" Soul of a People" quoted, 24 

Stanton, D.S.O., Lieutenant, of the 
Intelligence Department, 180 

Stedman, Colonel E. (now Sir Edward 
Stedman, G.C.B., K.C.I.E.), 35, 36, 
50; appointed Inspeotor- General of 
Police in Upper Burma, constitu- 
tion and training of military police, 
supplies, &c., 56-59, 72; leader 
of expedition to open trade routes 
through Shan States, 149-152 ; Fort 
(named after Colonel Stedman), 124, 
126, 147, 151-187 

Stewart, Lieutenant John, 319 

Su Gaung, 83 

Sumput, 279 

Supayalat, Queen, 6, 88 

Sylet Hills, 287 

Symes, Mr. E. (the late Sir E. Symes), 
55, 114 

Symons, Colonel W. Penn, expedition 
against Maung Tha Gyi, 85-89; 
sent to settle disturbances in Sagaing, 
104; plan to deport those aiding 
dacoits, 105 ; succeeds the com- 
mand in Nyingyan and Magwe, 
118-120 ; Chin-Lushai Campaign 
report, 329; Thetta report, 333; 
Klanglangs report, 334, 335 

Swetenham, Major, 154, 164, 181 

Szechuen, 43, 156 

Tabayin, 40 
Tabet, 162 

Taeping River, tributary of the Irra- 
waddy, 240 



Tai, Siamese branch of Indo-Chinese, 

133, 134 
Taiktaga San driven out of Me- 

hawnghsawn, 217 
Taingda, 32 ; Mingyi, 111 
Tamhpak, 162 

Ta Hongs (Shan headmen), 173 
Tao, 319, 335 
Tapaw, 245 

Ta Sangle, ferry on the Salween, 219 
Tashona (nicknamed Baungshes by 

tir' Burmans), submission of, 288, 

, 293, 310, 312, 322 
Taungbaw, 259, 260 
Taungdwingyi, 8, 32, 64, 102, 115- 


Taunggyo, 327 
Taunglet, southern portion of Hsenwi, 


Taungtek, 317 

Tahwepon, ferry on the Salween, 218 
Tawngpeng, 165, 177-179, 268 
Tawphaya, Chief Minister of Keng- 

tung, 228 
Tawyan tribe, 322 
Temple. Sir Richard, 126 
Tengyueh, 75 
Thabeikkyin, 47 
Thade's gang, 83 
Thama Sawbwa, 262, 263 
Tharrawaddy, 55, 90, 95, 148 
Thathanabaing, Pongyi, 37, 39 
Thayetmyo, 54, 55, 62, 82, 83, 90, 

116, 117 
Thebaw, King, rule, character, and 

submission, 2, 6, 7, 103, 140-145, 


Theinni (Hsenwi), 77, 174 
Thetta, 309, 333, 334 
Thibet, 133 

Thonze, or Hsumhsai, 141 
Thugyis (village headmen), 111, 122 
Tohon Eange, 274 
Tokgyi, 115 
Toklaing, 304 
Tongking, 134 
Tonnochy, Captain, 124 
Touche, Mr. J. D. La (Sir James 

La Touche), 12; Commissioner of 

Southern Division, 29 
Toungoo, 29, 30, 61 ; and Mandalay 

Railway, 126, 152 

Tregear, Brigadier- General (Major- 
General Sir Vincent William Tre- 
gear, K.C.B.), 319, 323 

Triscott, R.A., C.B., D.S.O., Colonel 
Charles Prideaux, Commander of the 
force in the Expedition to the Jade 
Mines, 240-255 

Tuck, Mr. H. N., 334 

Tucker, Mr. Henry St. George, 
Commissioner of Eastern Division, 
12, 29 ; meets Sir Charles Cros- 
thwaite, 60, 61 

Tungzang, 332 

Twet, Ga Lu (formerly a monk, a 
native of Kentawng), 144; leader 
against the Limbin Confederacy, 
145, 154, 156, 163, 168; driven 
out of Kentawng, surrender and 
death, 184-187 

Twing<, 271 

Twomey, Mr., 238, 257, 259 


U Po (Cadet of Hsenwi House), 139 
Uyu River, 253 

Victoria, Queen-Empress, 125, 136- 

138, 146, 155, 158, 180, 190 
Victoria, Mount, 330, 336 
Village regulations, 81 


Wa States, 43 

Wales, their R.H. the Prince and 
Princess of, 163; H.R.H. Prince 
Albert Victor of, 121 

Wallace, Lieutenant, 155, 157 

Wanyin Myoza, 169 

Waranaung, 266 

Warry, Mr., 40,240-244,283 

Washa, 284 

Welaung, 110, 111, 113 

Welon, 83 

Wetherell, Mr., killed, 333 

Whenohs tribe, 322 

White, Major- General Sir George, de- 
scribes military difficulties, 14 ; asks 
for reinforcements, 16 ; takes com- 
mand, 18; Upper Burma subjugated, 
18 ; consultation with Sir C. Cros- 



thwaite, 29; question of helping 
Hsipaw, 50 ; meets Sir C. Cros- 
thwaite, 65 ; on communications, 66 ; 
as administrator, 70 ; expedition 
against dacoits in Sagaing district, 
71, 72 ; expedition into Shan States, 
76, 77 ; preparations against Maung 
Tha Gyi, 85 ; trouble expected with 
the Wuntho Sawbwa, 92-94 ; des- 
patch on casualties in the army, 
98 ; equips the force for Mogaung 
expedition, 239 ; consultation with 
Sir C. Crosthwaite as to protection 
against Chins, 296 ; operations 
against Chins, 300-307 

White, Mr. Herbert Thirkell (now Sir 
H. T. White, K.C.S.I., late Lieut.- 
Governor of Burma), 46 ; sent with 
Colonel Stedman to open roads 
through Hsumhsai, 141, 142; depu- 
tation to Hsumhsai, 146 

Willcocks, Captain (now Lieut. - 
General Sir James Willcocks, 
K.C.M.G., C.B., D.S.O.) intelligence 
officer, 329 

Williams, B.A., Lieutenant, Staff 
Officer to Captain Triscott, K.A., 240 

Wilson, E.N., Captain, Port Officer at 
Rangoon, 311 

Wolseley, C.B., Brigadier-General 
George (afterwards General Sir 
George Wolseley, C.B.), 283-286 

Wun, Governor of Kani, murdered, 33 

Wundwin, 60, 154 

Wunkadaw, ruler of Pakokku, and her 
son, the Myo-thugyi, 63, 92 

Wuntho Sawbwo (Shan chief), 30, 90- 
94, 281 

Yabon, 279 

Ya Hnit (chief of the Klanklangs), 

334, 335 
Yahows, 322 
Yamethin, 8, 61, 120 
Yangtze, Upper, 134 
Ya Nyun, dacoit leader, 98, 110; 

account of his doings, 111-113; 

surrenders, 114 
Yan Sin, dacoit leader, 83 
Yaw country, 32, 63, 290, 291, 295 ; 

river and valley, 292, 295 
Yawdwin, 329, 330, 336 
Yawlu, 319 
Yaw Mingyi, 111 
Yawnghwe or Burmese Nyaungywe, 

137, 139, 142, 146-153; Sawbwa 

decorated, 124 ; assisted Colonel 

Symons, 194 

Yenangyaung, 27, 83, 84, 117, 118 
Yendus, 327, 329, 336 
Yen Shwebo, 105 
Ye-u, 8, 31 

Yokwa tribe, 309, 317, 318, 332-334 
Yoma, Arakan-, 32; gangs, 117 

Pegu-, 32, 61, 116 
Yomas, 116, 120, 121 
Yunnan, 42, 75, 77, 133, 134, 143, 156 
Ywama, 320, 321 ; Klanklang Ywama, 

334 ; Tashon, 320, 321 
Ywathit, 219 

Zedi, 260 

Zeittaung, 121 

Zimme (Chiengmai), 167 







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